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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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For starters: Kiermaier returns for tonight's tilt between Price and Snell

Tonight’s matchup is a pair of lefties who represent the Rays past (David Price) and the Rays future (Blake Snell).

Getty Images; WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Tonight’s matchup is a pair of lefties who represent the Rays past (David Price) and the Rays future (Blake Snell).

Kevin Kiermaier returns to the lineup tonight as the Rays begin a four-game series against the AL wild Card-leading Red Sox.

Kiermaier, who played the final two innings of Sunday’s win against the Rangers after missing nearly two games because of tightness in his left hip, said the issue is not 100 percent resolved, but he feels well enough to play.

Manager Kevin Cash said the team wants to give Kiermaier as much rest as possible, especially playing on the Trop’s unforgiving turf. But the Rays are a better team with Kiermaier in center and lately with him at the No. 2 spot in the lineup, so they want him to play as often as possible.

Tonight’s matchup is a pair of lefties who represent the Rays past (David Price) and the Rays future (Blake Snell).

Price is looking for his first win at the Trop since he was traded at the 2014 trade deadline to Detroit. He is 0-3 with a 3.98 ERA in three starts at the Trop – two with the Tigers and one with the Blue Jays.

Snell beat the Red Sox in his lone start against them. He allowed four runs on eight hits and walked four in 5 1/3 innings June 27, the night the Rays snapped their 11-game losing streak with a 13-7 win.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

RED SOX  …

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For starters: Logan Forsythe returns to lineup, Kevin Kiermaier does not, lineups vs Rays

2B Logan Forsythe returns to the lineup today during the finale of this three-game series with the Rangers.

Forsythe, who hasn’t played since Monday because of back spasms, said his back feels fine. He’s serving as the DH because that will make for an easier lineup move should his back tighten during the game. Forsythe said he expects to play second Monday when the Red Sox come to town.

CF Kevin Kiermaier is not in the lineup, missing his second straight game with left hip tightness. He’s considered day-to-day.

The Rays, winners of five of their last six, are trying to clinch their second consecutive winning homestand.

They have outscored their opponents 47-14 over their last six games.

Drew Smyly looks to win his third straight start. He’s 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last five games.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

RANGERS

DeShields LF

Desmond CF

Beltran DH

Beltre 3B

Odor 2B

Andrus SS

Rua 1B

Chirinos C

Stubbs RF

Perez LHP (8-8, 4.09)

 

RAYS

Forsythe DH

Duffy SS

Longoria 3B

Miller 1B

Beckham 2B

Souza RF

Dickerson LF

Mahtook CF

Wilson C

 

Smyly LHP (5-11, 4.85)

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For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with no Kiermaier

Jake Odorizzi, who has been not only the Rays' best pitcher since the All-Star break but one of the AL's top, will be on the mound.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Jake Odorizzi, who has been not only the Rays' best pitcher since the All-Star break but one of the AL's top, will be on the mound.

UPDATE, 3:46: Neither CF Kevin Kiermaier, who left Friday's game with hip tightness, nor Forsythe is in the lineup. Forsythe said his back was feeling better, and Cash said he is available tonight and the plan is to have him back in the lineup Sunday. Kiermaier said he doesn't know what is wrong with his hip or how it happened, but he expects it to be just a couple days. ... Romero said not only is his back feeling better but he improved his mechanics. ... Cash said there was no update on LF Desmond Jennings, who remains idled by a sore left knee. ... Cash also had no info on the status of Nick Franklin, who was placed on the 7-day concussion DL.


Rays lineup:

Mahtook cf,
Dickerson LF,
Longoria 3b,
Miller 1b,
Duffy SS,
LoMo DH,
Beckham 2b,
Souza RF,
Maile c,
Odorizzi p

Rangers lineup:

Profar lf
Desmond cf
Beltran dh
Beltre 3b
Odor 2b
Lucroy c
Moreland 1b,
Mazara rf
Andrus ss
Griffin p

DEVELOPING: After a poorly played Friday game that manager Kevin Cash termed a "pretty disappointing effort,'' the Rays try again tonight against the AL-best Rangers. …

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Rays have a bobblehead problem: Planned Sunday giveaway delayed

The now-delayed bobblehead.

TAMPA BAY RAYS

The now-delayed bobblehead.

The Rays have a bobblehead problem.

Sunday's planned giveaway of the Raymond & DJ Kitty Double Bobblehead has been changed due to what the team said were circumstances beyond its control after being "informed by the vendor that the bobblehead shipment would not arrive on time due to unexpected delays.''

The Rays didn't find out for sure the bobbleheads would not make it until late Friday night.

The team plans to offer vouchers to kids 14 and under attending Sunday's game and, after online registration, mail them the bobbleheads in 3-4 weeks. Also, they said all kids 14 and under attending Sunday's game will receive an additional Rays promotional item.

 

 

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Rays put Nick Franklin on 7-day concussion DL

UPDATE, 10:54: The Rays now say they won't name a replacement until Saturday.

DEVELOPING: The Rays put INF/OF Nick Franklin on the 7-day concussion DL after he felt dizzy and tired during a two-inning stint in Friday's game.

Franklin was hit on the helmet by teammate Kevin Kiermaier's bat while readying to hit in the first inning on Wednesday. He passed a concussion test then and said Friday afternoon he passed another one.

But getting back on the field - to replace Kiermaier, who left after two innings with hip soreness - proved to be too much.

The Rays were expeted to name a replacement later tonight.

Kiermaier came with left hip soreness and was taken out as a precaution when he said he didn't feel right.

 

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For starters: Matt Duffy returns, Logan Forsythe day-to-day, lineups vs Rangers

The Rays return to action tonight against the first place Rangers and so does SS Matt Duffy.

2B Logan Forsythe (back spasms) and Nick Franklin (head contusion) are not in the lineup, but manager Kevin Cash said both are available to play if needed.

Duffy missed Wednesday’s game after leaving Tuesday’s game early with soreness in the left Achilles he strained when playing at the Trop while a member of the Giants.

Forsythe said his back is still tight, though he did field grounders and took some light swings before BP.

Tonight begins a stretch of 36 straight games against teams currently with a winning record.

Matt Andriese is looking for his first win since June 15. That W came in relief. He hasn’t won as a starter since June 10. He’s 0-2 in three starts since rejoining the rotation after Matt Moore was traded.

The Rays face lefty Cole Hamels, who was MVP of the 2008 World Series for the Phillies.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

RANGERS

Profar LF

Desmond CF

Beltran DH

Beltre 3B

Odor 2B

Lucroy C

Moreland 1B

Mazara RF

Andrus SS

Hamels LHP (12-4, 2.88)

 

RAYS

Mahtook LF

Kiermaier CF

Longoria 3B

Miller 1B

Duffy SS

Morrison DH

Beckham 2B

Souza RF

Wilson C

 

Andriese RHP (6-4, 3.36)

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Rays to offer 2-year season tickets, with renewals at '16 prices

The Rays on Thursday will announce an innovative pitch for season ticket sales, offering fans the chance to lock current prices for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The initial push, called the Double Play Renewal, is aimed at current season-ticket holders, offering the two-year price lock, plus greater access to players, a choice from seven premium gifts (such as a chartered flight trip to a game in Miami, a catered suite for a game, a dinner cruise with Kevin Kiermaier, dinner with Evan Longoria at his Ducky's restaurant), and bonuses in terms of rewards points and e-cash for use at Tropicana Field. Other gift options include a Kiermaier memorabilia display, a hitting lesson with Logan Forsythe, or a donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation in your name.

"The Tampa Bay Rays are committed to giving our season ticket holders the best value we can and this takes the form of access, the form of price and the form of the club and the rewards program," chief business officer Jeff Cogen said. "We continue to add on building value and amenity for season-ticket holders. They are the lifeblood of the organization, and we need to treat them as such." …

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Franklin leaves game after being hit by Kiermaier on-deck swing

Nick Franklin (2) gets checked out by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield after getting hit by Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's (39) bat before leading off the bottom of the first inning.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Nick Franklin (2) gets checked out by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield after getting hit by Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's (39) bat before leading off the bottom of the first inning.

UPDATE, 1:55: The Rays said Franklin left the game with a "head contusion,'' that he was removed as a precaution and for "further observation."

• • •

DEVELOPING: Rays 2B Nick Franklin was forced to leave Wednesday's game shortly after being hit on the helmet by a Kevin Kiermaier swing in the on-deck circle.

Franklin was getting set to lead off the game when Kiermaier, who was loosening to bat second, swung the bat over his head and struck Franklin.

After being checked by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield, Franklin stayed in the game and drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Brad Miller's two-out homer.

But Franklin apparently had further issues as did not go back our to take his position on the field.

Already without starting SS Matt Duffy (Achilles) and 2B Logan Forsythe (back), the Rays were froced to scramble. C Luke Maile came into the game to play 1B, with Brad Miller moving back to SS and Tim Beckham from SS to 2B.

That left the Rays with just one healthy player on the bench, OF Corey Dickerson.

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