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Jennings off to a running start in '14

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Desmond Jennings is off and running to a good start this season.

He entered Friday night's game against the Rangers hitting .357 and has shown a lot of aggressiveness on the bases.

"We've talked to him about that a lot," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The big thing is, he's working at-bats. He's getting out there. I think a good baserunner, a good base-stealer, has to get out there a lot.

"So the more he gets out there, if he gets to that 35 percent [on-base percentage], if he does that, that's an elite hitter and you'll see elite base-running skills out of him from getting on that often."

The Rays go on the road after a run of seven games on Tropicana Field's artificial surface ends Sunday. Nevertheless, Maddon said he didn't think he would be giving Jennings a day off the turf this early.

"Seven-game stand coming off the grass of Spring Training," Maddon said. "We didn't push him real hard. I'm not really seeing any reason yet."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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