Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

For starters: Rays vs. Indians, with Kiermaier ill, Duffy out with sore back

UPDATE, 5:27: There may be a pause in the pranks war between good friends and managing counterparts. After Cash got his revenge Sept. 2 in Cleveland by putting Francona's scooter on the field to be hit during batting practice, Francona threatened action vs. Cash's truck in the Trop parking lot. Cash joked that he took an Uber, and a Lyft, to the Trop on Monday and didn't have his truck there. But then Francona said Cash asked him "sincerely" to not mess with it.

UPDATE, 5:24: The Rays won't be at full strength tonight as CF Kevin Kiermaier is sick and 3B Matt Duffy is dealing with lower back issues. Kiermaier felt sick on Sunday and has multiple symptoms, with Cash saying they hope it is only a bad head cold. Duffy has been dealing with back tightness for a couple days; Cash called it a "lower back strain" and indicated there was a further evaluation and testing to come. …. LHP Jalen Beeks is expected to work the bulk of the innings though he may not follow Castillo directly depending on the situation. … Top starter LHP Blake Snell is slated to work Wednesday's matinee series finale; Indians manager Terry Francona joked that he wished Cash would "be careful" with him and give him extra rest. … Newly acquired 3B Josh Donaldson is slated to make his Indians debut on Tuesday, then be available off the bench on Wednesday.

Here is the Indians lineup:
Lindor ss
Brantley lf
Ramirez 3b
Encarnacion dh
Alonso 1b
Cabrera rf
Kipnis 2b
Gomes c
Allen cf
Kluber p

DEVELOPING: After sweeping the woeful Orioles over the weekend, the Rays step up in class tonight as they open a three-game series with the AL Central leading Indians.

And for openers, they will face Cleveland's ace, RHP Corey Kluber. The Rays lost to Kluber Aug. 31 in Cleveland, but won the next two games of that series.

RHP Diego Castillo will be the opener for the Rays, with LHP Jalen Beeks slated to work the bulk of the innings.

The Rays have won 11 straight games at the Trop, tying the team record set in the pennant-winning 2008 season. With a win tonight, they will be the first team in win 12 straight at home since 2016 Indians won 13.

Here is the Rays lineup, without Duffy or Kiermaier:

Smith cf
Pham lf
Choi dh
Cron 1b
Wendle 3b
Adames ss
Lowe 2b
Bauers rf
Ciuffo c
Castillo p

Comments
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Rays morning after: Choi on an impressive pace

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For starters: Rays at Rangers, with a left-leaning lineup

For starters: Rays at Rangers, with a left-leaning lineup

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Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-A’s game

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