Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

For starters: Rays vs. Indians, with Snell seeking No. 19

UPDATE, 11:20: Kiermaier didn't want to provide details of what team called "general illness," but said "it was a tough couple days for me," and that he'd felt that bad before but "time and rest have helped." Said he was eager to be playing today. … Cash acknowledged a comfort factor for Snell in having Sucre behind the plate; Ciuffo caught him last time. … Noting how tough Carrasaco is on right-handers, Cash said it was a good day to give Adames off and start Velazquez, who has impressed him with his pre-game work on defense.

Here is the Indians lineup:
Lindor ss
Diaz 1b
Ramirez 2b
Encarnacion dh
Guyer lf
Cabrera rf
Davis cf
Perez c
Gonzalez 3b
Carrasco p

UPDATE, 10:33: Here is the Rays lineup, with Kiermaier back and Sucre catching Snell:

Smith rf

Wendle 3b

Pham lf

Choi dh

Lowe 2b

Kiermaier cf

Bauers 1b

Sucre c

Velazquez ss

Snell p

DEVELOPING: Battling to keep alive their longshot chances for an American League wild-card spot, the Rays take this field this afternoon eyeing a more realistic goal – getting win No. 19 for Blake Snell.

And in doing so, they can help his chances in the American League Cy Young voting.

Snell shares the major-league lead with 18 wins and is third overall, second in the AL, with a 2.06 ERA. So beating the Indians, for the second time in less than two weeks, would serve dual purposes.

The Rays need every win they can get, as the start the day trailing Oakland by 8 1/2 games with only 18 to play. A snapshot of their task: If the A's finish 9-8, the Rays have to win all 18 just to tie.

And the Rays hitters, who were shut out by Shane Bieber and two relievers on Tuesday, will have their own challenge in facing Cleveland's Carlos Carrasaco today.

The Rays are expected to be without 3B Matt Duffy (back) in the lineup for a third straight game, but he is available to pinch hit, as he did Tuesday. The status of CF Kevin Kiermaier is not as clear.

Snell's 18 wins are third most for a Rays pitcher in a season, behind David Price's 20 in his 2012 Cy Young season and 19 in 2010.

Lineups when available.

Comments
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