The series against the Royals marks the Devil Rays' 18th series of the season.
In the previous 17 series they are yet to sweep anyone other than a 2-game set in New York in the first week of May.
Of those 17 series that the Devil Rays have completed so far this season they've had a chance at the sweep in the last game of the series 4 times; Boston 5/2, New York 5/7, Florida 5/24, Minnesota 5/31, with the only successful sweep being the aforementioned 2-gamer in New York.
This afternoon the Devil Rays are presented with yet another opportunity to sweep a series, and have what looks on the outside like a pitching-matchup advantage (Shields v. Meche).
But the injuries aren't going away and the lineup looks make-shift again, to say the least, minus Longoria, the still ailing Bartlett and Burrell, and the resting Navarro.
Here's how they'll line-up this afternoon:
B.J. Upton, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Willy Aybar, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Matt Joyce, RF
Joe Dillon, DH
Michel Hernandez, C
Reid Brignac, SS
*Longoria will be available to pinch hit according to Marc Lancaster.
How I see It:
Start digging around in the broom closet because I think despite it all the Devil Rays are finally going to get their first three-game sweep of the season.