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Angels waiting for Tuesday's plan

Angels waiting for Tuesday's plan

ST. PETERSBURG -- With Tropical Storm Fay on the way, manager Mike Scioscia and his Angels tried to settle in as comfortably as possible on Monday with the hopes of getting in three games against the Rays in a showdown of American League division leaders at Tropicana Field.

"Hopefully, the next two days -- after tonight -- we'll get two ballgames in, one way or another," Scioscia said.

As of game time on Monday night, the Rays were planning to go ahead with Tuesday night's second game as scheduled but will monitor storm conditions closely. If the area is deemed unsafe and the game is postponed, according to a Rays spokesman, that decision probably will be made early Tuesday afternoon.

Scioscia said he preferred playing two games on Wednesday to trying to fit one game in during the final weeks of the season.

"A doubleheader Wednesday is fine," Scioscia said. "The Tampa-St. Petesburg area is obviously a priority, and this [domed stadium] is an evacuation center.

"We're going to do whatever the league tells us to do, whatever the city and state officials tell us to do."

Scioscia was asked to identify the best-case scenario and worst-case scenario.

"The worst-case scenario is we're swept into the Gulf of Mexico," he said to a round of media laughter. "You want a medium-case scenario? Hopefully, we're going to get three games in."

A Sept. 1 open date for both clubs was initially viewed as a possible date for rescheduling a rainout, but Scioscia was told that it would create a scheduling problem.

The Angels would be playing 25 games without a day off if they played on Sept. 1, a travel day.

Scioscia was under the impression that the team would stay at its St. Petersburg hotel on Tuesday even if the game is postponed.

"They're going to strap us down in seat belts in our hotel room, and hopefully the cable stays on," Scioscia said, playfully. "If we lose cable, we're going to be upset."

Uncooperative weather, he said, is something athletes learn to cope with -- "maybe not to the magnitude of a hurricane, though," he added. "We're going to do what we have to do."

The Angels had a rough ride through their first trip to Tropicana Field, and foul weather had nothing to do with it. They were swept by manager Joe Maddon and his Rays on May 9-11.

Maddon, Scioscia's former bench coach, has the Rays leading the AL East by 4 1/2 games, and they've been able to withstand the losses of two of their most valuable everyday players -- Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria -- along with closer Troy Percival.

"It's an incredible turnaround, to say the least," Scioscia said of Maddon's work with the Rays. "I knew Joe would eventually build an organization to do this. It's happened quicker than what you might expect."

Winning consecutive series at Seattle, Oakland and Texas, the Rays opened up ground on the Red Sox and Yankees. They're 45-17 at Tropicana, matching the Cubs for the best home record in the Majors.

The Angels' 39-23 road record is the Majors' best, but they opened the trip by dropping two of three in Cleveland to snap a string of 20 consecutive series against AL clubs that they'd won (16) or tied (four).

Lyle Spencer 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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