ALDS Game 4 lineups: Rangers vs. Rays

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Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Rangers-Rays series:

   TEXAS RANGERS               TAMPA BAY RAYS
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B          1. Desmond Jennings, LF
2. Elvis Andrus, SS         2. B.J. Upton, CF
3. Josh Hamilton, CF        3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Michael Young, DH        4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B        5. Johnny Damon, DH
6. Mike Napoli, C           6. Kelly Shoppach, C
7. Nelson Cruz, RF          7. Sean Rodriguez, SS
8. David Murphy, LF         8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Mitch Moreland, 1B       9. Matt Joyce, RF

SP Matt Harrison, LHP       SP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP

Ron Washington is trotting out the same lineup against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson that he used in Game 2 versus right-hander James Shields, which means David Murphy in left field, Josh Hamilton in center field, and speedster Craig Gentry on the bench.

For the third time in four games the Rays will face a left-handed starter and that’s the exact same lineup Joe Maddon used against southpaw Derek Holland in Game 2. Maddon also started those same nine hitters versus lefty C.J. Wilson in Game 1, but had Sean Rodriguez atop the lineup and Desmond Jennings hitting eighth to break up Casey Kotchman’s and Matt Joyce’s lefty bats.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.