For starters, Rays at Rangers, in the heat
UPDATE, 6:57: Maddon said he switched to Casali behind the plate because he wanted Molina to catch Hellickson and Odorizzi later in the series and wanted to split the workload. ... To deal with the extreme heat, the Rays players did their stretching and pre-game exercises in the clubhouse, limited their on-field work, made batting practice optional and allowed the players to work out in shorts and T-shirts.
UPDATE, 5:47: Just talked to struggling 3B Evan Longoria for a while in the clubhouse, and he made it clear that his struggles have nothing to do with any kind of injury or other health issue: "Everything's good; couldn't be any better." ... LHP Jake McGee said his sore right calf has loosened up considerably and he expects to be available tonight. .... Several Rays enjoyed reminiscing about the last time they were in the clubhouse in Arlington, as they celebrated winning Game 163 and making the playoffs as the second AL wild-card. "Popping bottles,'' OF Matt Joyce said.
Here is the Rangers lineup:
UPDATE, 4:29: One unexpected move in Rays lineup, as Curt Casali is behind the plate. He caught LHP Drew Smyly in his Rays debut last week, but manager Joe Maddon said Sunday Jose Molina would catch tonight.
Here is the Rays lineup:
DEVELOPING: The Rays open the third leg of their cross-country trip tonight in Arlington, Texas.
After losing two of three in Oakland and winning two of three in Chicago, the Rays need to build some momentum against the Rangers before opening a very difficult stretch of their schedule with 28 of 32 games against the contending Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays and Tigers.
LHP Drew Smyly, acquired from the Tigers in the David Price trade, will be on the mound for the Rays, making his second start in a Tampa Bay uniform. The Rangers are starting veteran RHP Colby Lewis.
Oh, and by the way, it is hot here - 94 at 3 p.m. local time, with a forecast to be the same at first pitch.
Lineups when available.