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For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, seeking series win

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Tim Beckham (1) picked off (after review) of first base in the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Tim Beckham (1) picked off (after review) of first base in the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]

UPDATE, 12:23: Cash said they opted to give Duffy today off so he has three days off his feet, having been the DH on Tuesday, as part of the maintenance for his left Achilles. ... Cash said the Rays may not announce their call-ups until Friday.... Drew Smyly comes into today's start with a 20 1/3 inning scoreless streak against the Red Sox. ... The Rays are still planning on flying home to Tampa after today's game but travel director Chris Westmoreland has several contingencies plans in the works as well.

Red Sox lineup:
Pedroia 2b
Bogaerts ss
Ortiz DH
Betts RF
Ramirez 1b
Leon c
Young rf
Hill 3b
Bradley cf
Wright p

UPDATE, 10:29: The Rays have Beckham at SS again today, with Brad Miller getting a DH day and Logan Morrison a start at 1B. Morrison, a free agent at the end of the year, would have seemed a potential trade candidate by today's deadline for postseason eligibility, but his inclusion in the lineup would indicate nothing is pending.

Rays lineup:

Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Miller dh,
Franklin rf,
Morrison 1b,
Beckham ss,
Dickerson lf,
Wilson c,
Smyly p …

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Rays making contingency travel plans due to storm at home

Kevin Cash and the Rays are considering flying into either Orlando or Fort Myers if the weather is better there and then busing back to Tampa/St. Petersburg.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Kevin Cash and the Rays are considering flying into either Orlando or Fort Myers if the weather is better there and then busing back to Tampa/St. Petersburg.

The Rays are operating as if they can fly home to Tampa after the Wednesday afternoon game in Boston, but travel director Chris Westmoreland is also exploring contingencies if the looming storm makes that prohibitive.

The Rays are considering flying into either Orlando or Fort Myers if the weather is better there and then busing back to Tampa/St. Petersburg.

They also are looking at spending the night in Boston if necessary and then flying back when they can on Thursday, which is an off-day, in advance of hosting the Blue Jays.

There is also a concern for the Blue Jays, who are playing in Baltimore on Wednesday night and then heading to Tampa.

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Former Rays OF Desmond Jennings clears waivers, is free agent

Desmond Jennings was released on Saturday, having been on the disabled list due to ongoing left knee issues and limited to 65 games.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Desmond Jennings was released on Saturday, having been on the disabled list due to ongoing left knee issues and limited to 65 games.

Former Rays OF Desmond Jennings has cleared waivers and is a free agent, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Jennings was released on Saturday, having been on the disabled list due to ongoing left knee issues and limited to 65 games.

According to Mike Fiore of the the Boras Corp., which represents Jennings, he is "unable to play due to his knee injury.''

Further, Fiore wrote in an email, "So we shall see what the future holds.''

If Jennings were to sign, the Rays would be responsible for the remainder of his $3.3-million salary, minus a pro-rated share of the major-league minimum.

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For starters: Rays at Red Sox, with Odorizzi on the mound

Rays right hander Jake Odorizzi has been not only the Rays' best pitcher since the All-Star break, but one of the best in the majors, going 6-0 with an AL-best 1.59 ERA in eight post All-Star break starts. And he is coming off a win over the Sox on Thursday afternoon, allowing one run in seven innings.

Rays right hander Jake Odorizzi has been not only the Rays' best pitcher since the All-Star break, but one of the best in the majors, going 6-0 with an AL-best 1.59 ERA in eight post All-Star break starts. And he is coming off a win over the Sox on Thursday afternoon, allowing one run in seven innings.

UPDATE, 5:41: Cash said they wanted to get Duffy off his feet and considered a total off-day, but he wanted to be in lineup so thus DH. ... Cash said the Rays likely will call up 1-2 pitchers on Friday (they are off Thursday when rosters expand) and then others after the Triple-A Durham season ends next week. ... The Rays are expecting to be able to fly home to Tampa after the Wednesday matinee, but are making contingency plans in case weather makes that prohibitive.

Rays lineup:
Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Miller 1b,
Duffy DH,
Beckham SS,
Souza RF,
Dickerson LF,
Maile c,
Odorizzi p

  …

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Cobb to make return to rotation on Friday

Alex Cobb will make his return to the majors in Friday at the Trop against Toronto.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Alex Cobb will make his return to the majors in Friday at the Trop against Toronto.

RHP Alex Cobb will make his return to the majors in Friday at the Trop against Toronto as the Rays switch to a 6-man rotation.

Cobb last started a regular season game in September 2014, sustaining an elbow injury during spring training 2015 that led to Tommy John elbow surgery.

LHP Blake Snell will start Saturday and RHP Chris Archer on Sunday.

Manager Kevin Cash said it was the simplest and most sensible way to handle it.

 

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For starters: Rays at Red Sox, once again

Matt Andriese will be on the mound for the Rays, having held the Sox to three runs over six innings on Wednesday.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Matt Andriese will be on the mound for the Rays, having held the Sox to three runs over six innings on Wednesday.

UPDATE, 6:03: Cash said Franklin is going to play a lot, and much of that time apparently will come in the outfield. ... The Rays will have only a three-man bench for this series, then add players when rosters expand on Friday.

Here is the Red Sox lineup:
Holt 2b
Bogaerts ss
Ortiz dh
Betts rf
Ramirez 1b
Shaw 3b
Young lf
Leon c
Bradley cf
Porcello p


UPDATE, 4:05:
The Rays have Nick Franklin in RF tonight, with Souza on the bench.

Rays lineup:
Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Miller 1b,
Duffy ss,
Morrison dh,
Franklin rf,
Dickerson lf,
Wilson c,
Andriese p

DEVELOPING: After splitting a four-game series last week at the Trop, the Rays take on the Red Sox again this week, starting tonight at Fenway Park.

RHP Matt Andriese will be on the mound for the Rays, having held the Sox to three runs over six innings on Wednesday. RHP Rick Porcello, who shares the major-league lead with 17 wins, is startign for the Red Sox.

The Rays were to activate RHP Alex Cobb today, which will mean they have no one on the DL for the first time all season.

2B Dustin Pedoria is not expected to be in the Boston lineup due to a family matter, but may return during the game.

Lineups when available.

 

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Alex Cobb set to rejoin Rays Monday, make first start next weekend

RHP Alex Cobb came through Saturday's final Tommy John surgery rehab start well and was to meet the team in Boston Sunday night, with plans for his first since his September 2014 this weekend, likely Saturday, at home vs. Toronto.

"I think he felt good by his results," manager Kevin Cash said. "It was good to go out there and kind of command the baseball the way he knows that's he able to do."

Cobb has to be activated from the DL today since his rehab assignment expired, so RHP Steve Geltz was sent back to Triple-A Durham after a one-day stint, and a shaky one-inning appearance, to provide bullpen coverage.

OF Mikie Mahtook was sent down after Saturday's game to make room for Geltz, and will return in either 10 days or after the Bulls' season ends.

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For starters: Rays at Astros, in avoid mode

UPDATE, 12:46: Rays lineup, with Forsythe getting a day off, Longoria a DH day and Dickerson at the top. ... Snell said ankle feels better today and he expects to make next start. ... Rays are on track to activate Cobb on Monday; his final rehab start went well.

Rays lineup:

Dickerson LF,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria DH,
Miller 1b,
Duffy SS,
Franklin 2b,
Souza RF,
Beckham 3b,
Maile c,

Archer p

  …

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For starters: Rays at Astros, on Snell's day

UPDATE, 5:51: Franklin is here, saying he feels fine after what was his third concussion, and Cash said he will get plenty of opportunity over the final month. ... Here is the Astros lineup:

Springer rf
Bregman 3b
Altuve 2b
Correa ss
Gattis c
Gurriel dh
Gonzalez 1b
Hernandez lf
Marisnick cf
Keuchel p

 

DEVELOPING: After Friday's crushing defeat, with closer RHP Alex Colome giving up back to back homers in the ninth, the Rays take on the Astros again tonight in Houston.

Rookie LHP Blake Snell, who has struggled in his last three starts, is on the mound for the Rays, matched up with 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel.

Keuchel is the fourth Cy winner Snell has faced in his 14 big-league starts, losing to Cleveland's Corey Kluber, Detroit's Justin Verlander and Boston's Davd Price.

The Rays are going right-hand heavy against Keuchel, with Tim Beckham getting the start at 1B.

They do have switch-hitter Nick Franklin back on the roster, activating him from the 7-day concussion DL after he played a rehab game on Friday for the Stone Crabs.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Duffy ss,
Beckham 1b,
Mahtook lf,
Souza rf,
Dickerson dh,
Wilson c,
Snell p

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Rays to release Desmond Jennings

The Rays will release oft-injured outfielder Desmond Jennings on Saturday.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Rays will release oft-injured outfielder Desmond Jennings on Saturday.

The Rays will release oft-injured OF Desmond Jennings on Saturday.

"It was time," manager Kevin Cash said. "Best for him, best for us, going forward. ...

"It's unfortunate it just didn't work out. We couldn't quite get him on the field as much as we would have liked."

Jennings, 29, was on the DL for the second time this season, and had not played since Aug. 2.

The Rays will be responsible for the remainder of his $3.3-million salary.

While it was not clear what led to the timing of the move now, parting ways eliminates the possibility of the Rays counting on him for next season.

 

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For starters: Rays at Astros, on a roll

Drew Smyly, who is 4-0, 2.79 over his last six starts, will be on the mound for the Rays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Drew Smyly, who is 4-0, 2.79 over his last six starts, will be on the mound for the Rays.

UPDATE, 4:37: Rays lineup has Mahtook in RF, after he ended his 0-for-34 skid on Thursday, and no Souza.

Rays lineup:
Forsythe 2b,
Kiermaier cf,
Longoria 3b,
Miller 1b,
Duffy ss,
Morrison dh,
Mahtook rf,
Dickerson lf,
Wilson c,
Smyly p

DEVELOPING: After taking a pair of one-run games from the Red Sox and finishing their last homestand 7-3, the Rays are in Houston for a three-game weekend series with the wild-card contending Astros.

LHP Drew Smyly, who is 4-0, 2.79 over his last six starts, will be on the mound for the Rays, matched up with RHP Mike Fiers.

Lineups when available.

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For starters: Lineups vs. Red Sox for homestand finale

Jake Odorizzi’s 1.64 ERA during the second half of the season is the lowest post-All-Star Break ERA in team history and the second lowest this season in the majors.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Jake Odorizzi’s 1.64 ERA during the second half of the season is the lowest post-All-Star Break ERA in team history and the second lowest this season in the majors.

The Rays and Red Sox return today to the Trop for a quick turnaround after last night’s 11-inning affair won by the Rays 4-3 on a walk-off error.

The getaway matinee features a matchup between Jake Odorizzi, who has been one of the major league’s top pitchers since the All-Star Break, vs. lefty Drew Pomeranz, who was acquired from San Diego in July to help Boston’s playoff push.

Odorizzi’s 1.64 ERA during the second half of the season is the lowest post-All-Star Break ERA in team history and the second lowest this season in the majors behind the 1.52 ERA of Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs.

Pomeranz is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts. He is 4-1 in his last six road starts.

The Rays bullpen is bolstered by RHP Tyler Sturdevant, who was recalled after last night’s game. To make room, INF Richie Shaffer was optioned back to Durham.

The Rays have won seven of their last 10, including 6-3 on this homestand.

The Red Sox have won 10 of their last 13. They begin the day tied with the Blue Jays for first place in the AL East.

The Rays fly to Houston after the game for the three-game weekend series. The road trip continues Monday with three games in Boston.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

RED SOX  …

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Rays call up RHP Tyler Sturdevant, send down Richie Shaffer

After getting five innings of shutout relief in their 4-3 11-inning win over the Red Sox, the Rays made a move to add a fresh arm to their bullpen, calling up RHP Tyler Sturdevant.

To make room, INF Richie Shaffer was optioned to Triple-A Durham.

Sturdevant is 0-1, 4.08 in 15 appearances over two previous stints with the Rays.

Shaffer was not getting much action after being called up to replace injured INF Nick Franklin.

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For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, looking for a W

Matt Andriese will be on the mound for the Rays.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Matt Andriese will be on the mound for the Rays.

UPDATE, 5:26: RHP Alex Cobb decided to make one more rehab start, on Saturday for Triple-A Durham, and then "sink or swim" will rejoin the team, planning to make his first big-league start since Tommy John surgery on Sept. 2 or 3 vs. Toronto. ... Cash said no final decisions have been made yet but with Cobb (and RHP Chase Whitley, also Tommy John surgery) coming back, a six-man rotation is an option for September.

UPDATE, 5:20:
Cash said he wanted to give Brad Miller a day off his feet, and also to give Morrison a little time on the field not just DH. ... Beckham's hamstring is still a little tight but he could be available if needed Cash said. ... INF/OF Nick Franklin, on the 7-day concussion DL, said he is feeling better and could play a rehab game on Friday with the idea of rejoining the Rays in Houston over the weekend. ... Hanley Ramirez gets a day off for the Red Sox.

Red Sox lineup:
Pedroia 2b
Bogaerts ss
Ortiz dh
Betts rf
Bradley cf
Leon c
Holt 3b
Shaw 1b
Benintendi lf
Porcello p

 

DEVELOPING: After losing two straight to the Red Sox, the Rays will try again tonight in game three of the four-game series. …

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For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, on Archer day

Chris Archer has been pitching better of late, 3-4, 3.06 since the All-Star break, a drop of more than 1.5 runs from his first-half numbers.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Chris Archer has been pitching better of late, 3-4, 3.06 since the All-Star break, a drop of more than 1.5 runs from his first-half numbers.

UPDATE, 5:55: Cash said just a day off for Duffy, was they want to limit him to 4-5 in a row since he is coming off the Achilles injury. ... The Rays will wait for RHP Alex Cobb to get back from Norfolk and talk with him about whether he will make another rehab start on Saturday or rejoin the rotation this weekend.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Forsythe 2b
Kiermaier cf
Longoria 3b
Miller 1b
Beckham ss
Morrison dh
Souza rf
Dickerson lf
Wilson c
Archer p

Red Sox lineup:
Pedroia 2b
Bogaerts ss
Ortiz dh
Betts rf
Ramirez 1b
Bradley cf
Leon c
Shaw 3b
Benintendi lf
Buchholz p …

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