For starters: Rays vs. Indians, trying again to get the bats going
UPDATE, 5:15: The Indians are awaiting the arrival at the Trop of new acquisition OF Jay Bruce, and assuming he gets here in time he will be activated and available off the bench, with OF Eric Gonzalez sent down.,
UPDATE, 5:09: Odorizzi said he felt better than expected today, with no soreness in his right foot, and expects to start at scheduled on Monday in Toronto, though he will know better after throwing a light bullpen on Friday. ... CF Kevin Kiermaier (hip, back) was to take the first of two days of batting practice in advance of starting a rehab assignment. ... RHP Matt Andriese (hip) felt good throwing his bullpen session and is set to start a rehab assignment, of at least three starts, on Sunday with the Stone Crabs. ... Cash said he would talk today with Ramos about his playing schedule and whether they need to talk more or make adjustments to make sure he isn't overdoing it.
DEVELOPING: In the midst of a historically bad hitting slump - scoring just four runs in their previous five games - the Rays try again tonight to break out as they open a four-game series with the AL Central leading Indians.
One good early sign is that Lucas Duda is back in the Rays lineup. He was scratched Wednesday after bruising his left thumb taking ground balls before the game and manager Kevin Cash said he was a longshot to be able to start tonight.
If the Rays are going to break out, they will have to do so against a hot pitcher, as Cleveland RHP Danny Salazar is 1-0, 1.35 in three starts since coming off the DL.
The Rays are starting LHP Blake Snell, who had been demoted to Triple-A Durham for the second time this season but then recalled when RHP Alex Cobb went on the DL due to a turf toe issue.
Jesus Sucre is behind the plate tonight as Wilson Ramos had a rough Wednesday, bothered perhaps by a hamstring issues that has lingered for several weeks.
One other topic for the Rays today is the status of RHP Jake Odorizzi, who left Wednesday's game after being hit by a line drive on the right foot but sustained only a bruise and is supposedly able to make his next start on Monday.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And here is the Indians lineup: