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For starters, Rays vs. Twins, seeking to avoid a sweep

UPDATE, 3:22: Here is the Twins lineup:
Buxton cf,
Dozier 2b,
Mauer dh.
Sano 3b,
Plouffe 1b,
Hunter rf,
Escobar ss,
Suzuki c,
Robinson lf,
Milone p

DEVELOPING: After a second straight frustrating loss, the Rays will try to avoid being swept by the Twins tonight in the series finale.

LHP Drew Smyly, who was much better in his second start since coming off the DL than his first, will be on the mound for the Rays against Twins LHP Tommy Milone.

The Rays may have another roster shuffle today, with the possibility that OF Desmond Jennings will go back on the DL due to a bruise in the same left knee that sidelined him for 3 1/2 months. If so, expect either OF Joey Butler, OF Mikie Mahtook or INF Richie Shaffer to get called up.

Lineups when available.

 

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Rays Jake Odorizzi makes a friend at All Children's

Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi and 3-year-old  Vance Upthegrove

CARLI TODD / TAMPA BAY RAYS

Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi and 3-year-old Vance Upthegrove

As part of a Rays Kids Spirit Day, RHP Jake Odorizzi and OF Desmond Jennings on Wednesday visited patients at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Odorizzi and 3-year-old Vance Upthegrove, shown above, hung out and played video games.  Upthegrove has eight Rays signed baseballs, inscribed with everything from "Get Well Soon!" to "Turtle Power!"

 

 

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Rays place Casali on DL and call up Arencibia; Jennings day to day

Curt Casali, who has been one of the team's top home run hitters in the last month, is confident he will be out only 2-3 weeks and in no danger of missing the rest of the season.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Curt Casali, who has been one of the team's top home run hitters in the last month, is confident he will be out only 2-3 weeks and in no danger of missing the rest of the season.

After an MRI confirmed a left hamstring strain, the Rays placed C Curt Casali on the DL Wednesday and called up J.P. Arencibia from Triple-A Durham.

Casali, who has been one of the team's top home run hitters in the last month, is confident he will be out only 2-3 weeks and in no danger of missing the rest of the season.

Arencibia, 29, has spent parts of five seasons in the majors, with the Blue Jays and Rangerr, and most of this season with the Bulls, hitting 22 home runs with a .227 average, 65 RBIs and a .702 OPS.

Manager Kevin Cash said Rene Rivera initially will get "quite a bit" of the playing time behind the plate, but they will want to work in Arencibia to take advantage of his power.

OF Desmond Jennings, meanwhile, is considered "day to day" with a bruise on the same left knee that sidelined him for 3 1/2 months and required surgery. Though Tuesday's game was the first Jennings played on the Trop turf since rejoining the team, Cash said that was not a contributing factor in the his injury, which stemmed from sliding into second on Saturday in Oakland. …

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For starters, Rays vs. Twins, on Archer Day

Chris Archer, coming off his one-hit, complete-game shutout in Houston is matched up against Twins rookie Tyler Duffey.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer, coming off his one-hit, complete-game shutout in Houston is matched up against Twins rookie Tyler Duffey.

Coming off Tuesday's tough loss to the Twins, the Rays take the field tonight with All-Star ace Chris Archer on the mound.

Archer, coming off his one-hit, complete-game shutout in Houston is matched up against Twins rookie Tyler Duffey.

The Rays will be without C Curt Casali, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring strain and replaced by J.P. Arencibia, and OF Desmond Jennings, who is day to day with a bruised left knee.

Here are the lineups:

Rays lineups:
Nava rf
Sizemore lf
Longoria 3b
Jaso dh
Forsythe 2b
Cabrera ss
Loney 1b
Kiermaier cf
Rivera c
Archer p

Twins lineup:
Buxton cf
Dozier 2b
Mauer 1b
Sano DH
Plouffe 3b
Rosario rf
Escobar ss
Herrmann c
Robinson lf
Duffey p

 

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Loney silent on suspension

James Loney was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount Tuesday for making contact with umpire Paul Nauert during a confrontation after being ejected from Saturday night’s game in Oakland.

AP photo

James Loney was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount Tuesday for making contact with umpire Paul Nauert during a confrontation after being ejected from Saturday night’s game in Oakland.

Rays first baseman James Loney was not in a talking mood prior to today’s game against the Twins, but he is in the starting lineup. Loney was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount Tuesday for making contact with umpire Paul Nauert during a confrontation after being ejected from Saturday night’s game in Oakland. Loney is appealing the suspension, which makes him eligible until the appeals process is complete.

“That’s more or less through James and his agent,’’ Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the appeals process. “We’ll wait to hear back from Major League Baseball in the coming days.

“We don’t want to play any games short, but really, one (game) is better than anything else.’’

If Loney’s suspension is upheld, either Logan Forsythe or Daniel Nava will take his place at first base.

“Nava played some first base on the road trip and looked comfortable,’’ Cash said. “If James does have to sit out a day then we’ll wait and see what that day is and who we put there.’’

Loney was adamant after the ejection that he did nothing wrong. He did not talk to reporters before taking batting practice today.

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For starters, Rays vs. Twins, with Karns on the mound

Nathan Karns will be on the mound for the Rays tonight.f

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Nathan Karns will be on the mound for the Rays tonight.f

Here’s the Rays starting lineup tonight for the first of three games against the Minnesota Twins. James Loney is in the lineup while appealing his one game suspension after an ejection Saturday night.

1. Grady Sizemore, RF

2. Desmond Jennings, LF

3. Evan Longoria, 3B

4. John Jaso, DH

5. Logan Forsythe, 2B

6. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

7. James Loney, 1B

8. Kevin Kiermaier, CF

9. Curt Casali, C

Nathan Karns, RHP

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James Loney gets 1-game suspension

James Loney's suspension was to start tonight but he has opted to appeal so it won't be served until a hearing.

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James Loney's suspension was to start tonight but he has opted to appeal so it won't be served until a hearing.

Rays 1B James Loney has been suspended 1 game and fined an undisclosed amount as a result of making contact with umpire Paul Nauert during a confrontation following his ejection from Saturday's game.

Loney's suspension was to start tonight but he has opted to appeal so it won't be served until a hearing.

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For starters, Rays at A's, looking for a first-time sweep

UPDATE, 3:00: Loney remained adamant this morning that he did nothing wrong in getting ejected on Saturday, and was not concerned about potential disciplinary action for making contact. Cash said they would wait to hear from MLB in the next few days. ... The Rays have made 24 trips to Oakland over their 18 seasons and have never swept a series. so today could be the first. ... The Rays have played 5 straight one-run games for the first time since doing six in a row in September 2010. ... Cash said they feel strongly Alex Colome can continue his ascension as a high-leverage reliever but also continue to have confidence in RHP Brad Boxberger. ... Sounds like the Rays will look into the availabilty of Fernando Rodney, who was DFA'd by Seattle, but it is not a high priority.

UPDATE, 2:55: The Rays lineup has an extremely different look today, as OFs Desmond Jennings and Kevin Kiermaier are both getting the day off, John Jaso is hitting cleanup and playing leftfield, and James Loney has been dropped to seventh in the order in what manager Kevin Cash said was an attempt to get him going better. …

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James Loney says ejection unwarranted, ump needs to "just relax"

 Rays 1B James Loney was as demonstratively mad as he'd ever been on a major-league field after being ejected for his reaction to a strike three call in the sixth inning of Saturday's game. 

   An hour or so later, Loney was still upset about the decisions by home plate umpire Paul Nauert.

   First, Loney said the pitch, which he thought at the time was borderline, was definitely a ball. …

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For starters, Rays at A's, looking for another W

UPDATE, 7:21: Cash said he thinks Boxberger is handling his struggles well and has no plans to change how he is being used. ... Cash said they were prepared for the A's to use switch-pitcher Pat Venditte last night and weren't saving switch-hitter Daniel Nava for that slot but it worked out well.

A's lineup, with LH Sean Doolittle off the DL:
Burns cf
Crisp lf
Reddick rf
Canha 1b
Vogt dh
Lawrie 3b
Phegley c
Sogard 2b
Semien ss
Gray p

DEVELOPING: After hanging on through a perilous Brad Boxberger ninth inning for a 2-1 win on Friday, the Rays are back at it against the A's tonight.

RHP Erasmo Ramrez will be on the mound for the Rays, who have the difficult task of facing A's ace Sonny Gray. Ramirez has never beaten the A's in eight career appearances against Oakland, 0-6. 5.26.

The Rays are going with the same lineup as Friday:
Jaso dh,
Sizemore rf,
Longoria 3b,
Loney 1b,
Forsythe 2b,
Cabrera ss,
Jennings lf,
Kiermaier cf,
Casali c,
Ramirez p

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For starters, Rays at A's, with Smyly on the mound

Coming off RHP Chris Archer's one-hit, complete-game masterpiece against the Astros, the Rays are in Oakland tonight for a 10:07 game against the A's.

LHP Drew Smyly will be on the mound for the Rays tonight, hoping to improve on his initial return from the DL on Sunday when he allowed five runs and lasted only four innings. The A's are starting RHP Chris Bassitt.

The Rays announced that LHP Jake McGee underwent successful left knee surgery in St. Petersburg today, and is still expected to miss 6-8 weeks, making his return this season uncertain.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Jaso DH,
Sizemore rf,
Longoria 3b,
Loney 1b,
Forsythe 2b,
Cabrera SS,
Jennings LF,
Kiermaier cf,
Casali c,
Smyly p

 

A's lineup:
Burns cf
Canha 1b
Valencia 3b
Phegley c
Smolinski rf
Lawrie 2b
Butler dh
Crisp lf
Semien ss
Bassitt p

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For starters, Rays at Astros, on Archer Day

Chris Archer is coming off a rough start at Texas on Friday, when he allowed 11 hits and eight runs and lasted only 5-1/3 innings.

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Chris Archer is coming off a rough start at Texas on Friday, when he allowed 11 hits and eight runs and lasted only 5-1/3 innings.

UPDATE, 6:46: Cash said he understood the morning-after debate over the decision whether or not to walk Carlos Correa in the 13th last night, and said they strongly considered it during the game, but still feel it would have been worse to take away Matt Andriese's margin for error. ... He did say he would not have considered extending RHP Alex Colome into the ninth, or using a pitcher to pinch-run for Curt Casali in the 8th. ... The Rays are taking batting practice today after skipping Wednesday, and will hit on Friday in Oakland.

Astros lineup:
Altuve 2b
Gonzalez 1b
Correa ss
Rasmus rf
Gomez cf
Gattis dh
Valbuena 3b
Tucker lf
Castro c
McHugh p

DEVELOPING: After back-to-back extra-inning walkoff defeats and then the news that top reliever LHP Jake McGee needs left knee sugery that potentially will sideline him for the rest of the season, the Rays wrap up their four-game series against the Astros with All-Star ace RHP Chris Archer on the mound.

Archer is coming off a rough start at Texas on Friday, when he allowed 11 hits and eight runs and lasted only 5 1/3 innings. The Astros are starting RHP Collin McHugh. …

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McGee to have knee surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Jake McGee will miss most and potentially all of the rest of the season after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Jake McGee will miss most and potentially all of the rest of the season after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

UPDATE, 6:53: RHP Brad Boxberger spoke for several of the pitchers when he said of the loss of McGee: "It sucks. That's probably the easiest way to put it. We lost (RHP Kevin) Jepsen (who was trraded to the Twins) earlier, and now we lose McGee. It's  definitely going to be a different look in the bullpen for the rest of the year.  ... Cash said they will use several pitchers to take McGee's late-inning role, including LHP Xavier Cedenno and RHPs Steve Geltz, Brandon Gomez and Alex Colome, who had a dazzling 10-pitch, three-strikeout 8th inning. ... Cash also said McGee's absence doesn't automatically make Boxberger the fulltime closer, that there could still be situations where Boxberger pitches in the eighth and one of the others closes the game.  ... The Rays will have a better idea after Friday's surgery of how realistic it is to think McGee could return before the Oct. 4 end of the regular season.

DEVELOPING: LHP Jake McGee, one of the Rays top relievers, will miss most and potentially all of the rest of the season after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his left knee. …

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Rays, Dalí team up for 'World’s Largest Mustache Party' at the Trop

There won't be an hallucinogenic toreador, but the Rays and the Dalí Museum are teaming up to host what they are calling the "World's Largest Mustache Party" next Friday at the Trop.

All fans attending the Aug. 28 game against the Royals (and ex-Rays star Ben Zobrist), will get a Rays Rally 'Stache to wear at the game.

Dalí, of course, is the famous artist known for his unique mustache, and the downtown St. Petersburg museum offers plenty of mustache-themed items and events.

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McGee sent home after tweaking left knee

Rays LHP Jake McGee was sent home to be checked by team doctor Koco Eaton after tweaking his left knee during the ninth inning of Tuesday's game.

Manager Kevin Cash said McGee felt something on the second to last pitch of his Tuesday outing, but didn't inform the training staff until after the game.

"We're hopeful that it's not something that's too bad,'' Cash said.

He said they sent McGee back to St. Petersburg in part because he was not going to be available tonight or possibly Thursday anyway after throwing a season-high 33 pitches on Tuesday.

But when asked if McGee would likely join them in Oakland if there was nothing serious found in the MRI and exam Thursday by Eaton, Cash said he wasn't sure, noting the Rays are off Monday, suggesting McGee might need a few days off.

Without McGee, who often works the eighth inning, the Rays are likely to use LHP Xavier Cedeno and RHP Steve Geltz in higher leverage situations. RHP Matt Andriese is also available out of the bullpen after being called up today.

 

 

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