Here are the lineups for Game 3 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, LF 3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Michael Young, DH 4. Matt Joyce, RF
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B 5. Johnny Damon, DH
6. Mike Napoli, C 6. Ben Zobrist, 2B
7. Nelson Cruz, RF 7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Mitch Moreland, 1B 8. John Jaso, C
9. Craig Gentry, CF 9. Reid Brignac, SS
SP Colby Lewis, RHP SP David Price, LHP
Ron Washington is using a different lineup against left-hander David Price than he used in Game 1 against left-hander Matt Moore, as Josh Hamilton and Craig Gentry flip-flop spots in the outfield and Michael Young slides from first base to designated hitter while Mitch Moreland (a lefty bat) replaces Yorvit Torrealba (a righty bat).
Meanwhile, after facing left-handed starters in back-to-back games the Rays are turning to their standard lineup versus right-handers, which includes three right-handed hitters atop the lineup followed by six consecutive left-handed (or switch-) hitters.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.