For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox with Snell on the bump seeking a sweep

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) NYY105
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) NYY105
Published August 26 2018
Updated August 26 2018

UPDATE, 12:03: Rays manager Kevin Cash said OF Mallex Smith (viral infection) is expected to be released from hospital today and is "doing considerably better." No timetable for return but Cash suggested could be shortly after the 10 day DL stint. … The Rays are slated to use openers for the two NL rules games in Atlanta, with RH Tyler Glasnow and LH Blake Snell working the first two games against Cleveland next weekend. … Cash said they have tabled likely until the off-season plans to try Tommy Pham in rightfield. … Just a day off, in advance of a team off day, for Benintendi and Martinez, Sox manager Alex Cora said.

UPDATE, 10:16: Here is the Rays lineup:

Wendle 2b
Duffy 3b
Choi dh
Pham lf
Bauers 1b
Kiermaier cf
Adames ss
Lowe rf
Perez c
Snell p

DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to make it a clean sweep of the majors-best Red Sox today, and they have top starter LHP Blake Snell on the mound.

In beating the Red Sox in the first two games of this series, the Rays (69-61) have won the first two games against the Red Sox, and seven straight overall, the longest current streak in the majors and one shy of their season high.

Snell is  cobbling one of the best seasons in Rays history at 15-5, 2.07, and is even better at home, having allowed one earned run or fewer in his last 13 starts at the Trop, dating back to last year.

And he is 2-0, 0.95 in three games against the Red Sox.

RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who was traded by the Rays to the Sox on July 25, will be on the mound for Boston, having pitched well since joining them as a stretch-run rental. The Rays got back LHP Jalen Beeks.

The Rays today are seeking their 10th sweep of this season, and the first undefeated multi-series homestand in franchise history, having won all four against the Royals before the Red Sox rolled in.

It also would be the third time in franchise history the Rays swept a series of three or more games against the team with the best record in the majors.

Here is the Red Sox lineup, without slugger J.D. Martinez and OF Andrew Benintendi:

Betts RF,
Núñez 3B,
Bogaerts SS,
Pearce DH,
Moreland 1B,
Kinsler 2B,
Holt LF,
León C,
Bradley Jr. CF,
Eovaldi P


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