Conrad takes turn in Rays' cleanup spot

Conrad takes turn in Rays' cleanup spot

KANSAS CITY -- With Brooks Conrad swinging a hot bat since joining the Rays last week, manager Joe Maddon decided to plug the new addition into the cleanup spot for Wednesday's series finale against the Royals.

"What's taken us so long to put Brooks in the four-hole? He's done so well," Maddon said. "We've still got the whole lineup [Wednesday] based on their pitcher [lefty Everett Teaford], and wanted to get another right-handed bat [in there]. He's done well. That home run he hit [Tuesday] was really well struck. That's just what it is, based on a lot of the different things we've had going on this year. [Drew] Sutton's actually done a good job in the four-hole for us a couple times. [Jeff Keppinger] has done it. We'll see if [Conrad] can do it, too."

Entering play on Wednesday, Conrad, who was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee, was batting .385 with a 1.198 OPS in five games with Tampa Bay. He's racked up two doubles, a home run and six RBIs in that span.