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Longoria starts despite sore shin

Longoria starts despite sore shin

OAKLAND -- Rays third baseman Evan Longoria started Sunday's game despite pain in his left leg. Longoria fouled a ball off his shin during the sixth inning Saturday, but he remained in the game.

"Sore but good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Longoria before Sunday's series finale against the A's, in which the Rays were the victims, 4-0, of Dallas Braden's perfect game.

Longoria has started all 31 games, and he has said he wants to play every game this year. Maddon said he wouldn't mind, as long as Longoria remains healthy.

"If he's well, I believe he is capable of playing all games," Maddon said.

Maddon, meanwhile, said he received positive reports on the progress of the three Rays players on the disabled list: reliever J.P. Howell (left shoulder strain), outfielder Matt Joyce (right elbow strain) and catcher Kelly Shoppach (right knee sprain).

Howell, who played catch from up to 205 feet Saturday, will throw another side session on Tuesday and batting practice on Friday. "Didn't bother him at all," Maddon said.

If all goes well, he'll soon throw a simulated game. Maddon said he "thinks we're still on target" for activating Howell late this month.

Joyce played catch Saturday but has yet to throw from 90 feet and has not resumed swinging the bat.

"He's really progressing well," Maddon said.

As for a timetable for Joyce's return, Maddon said, "We'll be able to start creating that once he throws from 90 feet and starts swinging the bat."

Shoppage had a "real good" cardiovascular and lower body workout Saturday, including work in the pool.

"When he got out of the pool, he felt great," Maddon said.

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