Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays: Kiermaier makes history in debut

Rays at Indians

When/where: 8:07 tonight; Progressive Field, Cleveland

TV/radio: TBS; 620-AM, 95.3-FM

Probable pitchers

Rays: RH Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76)

INDIANS: RH Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12)

On Cobb: In past 3 starts has posted a 1.16 ERA in beating the Rangers, Orioles and Yankees. Highest percentage of ground balls in majors. Is 5-1, 2.41 since returning from DL. Is 2-1, 2.70 in three starts vs. Indians.

On Salazar: Hard-throwing 23-year-old Dominican — average fastball velocity 95.9 mph — makes his 11th big-league start. Averaged 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings at Triple A, 11.25 per 9 in majors. Mixes in changeup and slider.

Key matchups

Rays VS. SALAZAR

None have faced

INDIANS VS. COBB

Mike Aviles 0-for-7

Michael Bourn 1-for-7

Mickey Brantley 0-for-5

Asdrubal Cabrera 2-for-8

Jason Kipnis 1-for-6

Ryan Raburn 3-for-8

Carlos Santana 3-for-7

Nick Swisher 3-for-10

On deck: ALDS

Friday: Game 1, Rays or Indians at Red Sox, 3:07 p.m.

Saturday: Game 2, Rays or Indians at Red Sox, 5:37 p.m.

Sunday: Off day

Monday: Game 3, Red Sox at Rays or Indians, TBA

Tuesday: Game 4, Red Sox at Rays or Indians, TBA

Wednesday: Off day

Thursday: Game 5, Rays or Indians at Red Sox, TBA

Rays disabled list

RHP Alex Colome, elbow strain, 60-day, eligible Aug. 28

RHP Jesse Crain, shoulder strain, 60-day

OF Brandon Guyer, broken finger, 60-day, eligible Oct. 1

RHP Jeff Niemann, shoulder surgery, 60-day, out for the season

RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, elbow surgery, 60-day, out for season

Stat of the day

11-14

Rays record in postseason games

Quote of the day

"Greatest concept ever. I'm so glad they thought about it."

Rays manager Joe Maddon, asked what he thought of the second wild card.

Rays with 2014 options

• OF David DeJesus, $6.5 million or $1.5 million buyout

• SS Yunel Escobar, $5 million, no buyout

• RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, $2 million

• 2B Ben Zobrist, $7 million or $2.5 million buyout

Rays pending free agents

• RHP Jesse Crain

• RHP Roberto Hernandez

• INF Kelly Johnson

• 1B James Loney

• C Jose Molina

• RHP Fernando Rodney

• DH Luke Scott

• RHP Jamey Wright

• DH Delmon Young

Historic debut

OF Kevin Kiermaier on Monday became the first player to make his major-league debut in a one-game tiebreaker and just the second to do so in his team's 163rd or later game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other was Elvio Jimenez, who played for the 1964 Yankees in their 164th and final game — after they clinched — and never played in the majors again.

Patched up

Among equipment manager Chris Westmoreland's myriad duties Tuesday was getting a special 2013 postseason patch affixed to all the Rays jerseys.

Road show

Travel director Jeff Ziegler has been something of the Rays MVP this week. Tonight in Cleveland they will play in their third different city in a four-day span, having been in Toronto Sunday and Arlington, Texas, Monday. If they win, they would then go on to Boston for games Friday and Saturday. All this after leaving home after the Sept. 23 game for New York, having flown 3,627 miles thus far.

   
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