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For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Charlie Morton on the mound

Coming off their first back-to-back losses of the season, Rays hope to come out strong vs. struggling Rick Porcello.
Charlie Morton has thrown well for the Rays. [Associated Press]
Published Apr. 20
Updated Apr. 20

UPDATE. 5:21: Cash made it clear they are banking on Morton coming up big today:

"We’re going to need a big performance out of him today, no doubt. I think it’s pretty well documented and noted our bullpen is pretty taxed. We’ve used guys. We’ve done this opener/bulk guy thing for three straight days. We knew when we did it that we were going to come into this position where we going to have to lean on Charlie and (Sunday starter Tyler Glasnow) to help carry the load. And now it’s their time to do that.''

UPDATE, 4:05: Blake Snell said he felt good after throwing a 20-pitch bullpen session today and Cash said they were encouraged the toe wasn’t an issue. Snell likely will throw another bullpen session on Monday and then the Rays will decide when he returns, with Wednesday still a possibility. ... Cash acknowledged Joey Wendle (hamstring) was ready to come off the DL but their needs for an extra reliever will force him to wait. ... Catcher Mike Zunino and wife Alyssa had a healthy baby boy, Rhett, but Cash didn’t have any other details. ... Cash said Faria provides length if needed, but they are counting on Morton and Tyler Glasnow to pitch deep today and Sunday given an admittedly “taxed” bullpen after using openers three straight days.

Here is the lineup for the Red Sox, who today put Nathan Eovaldi on the injured list due to a “loose body” in his right elbow; the same issue last spring with the Rays led to arthroscopic surgery and a two-month absence, with lefty Bobby Poyner recalled:

Benintendi lf

Betts rf

Moreland 1b

Martinez dh

Bogaerts ss

Devers 3b

Bradley cf

Lin 2b

Leon c

Porcello p

DEVELOPING: Coming off their first back-to-back losses of the season, the Rays are looking to bounce back tonight against the Red Sox.

They will have veteran Charlie Morton on the mound. Morton feels he has corrected some issues in fastball command by adjusting his alignment to the plate, having been throwing too side to side.

And the Rays should have an opportunity to take advantage of the early season struggles of Sox starter Rick Porcello, who has allowed 12 walks and 22 hits in 11 1/3 innings and hasn’t gotten through five innings yet.

Here is the lineup for the Rays, who will be wearing their old-school Devil Rays uniforms:

Meadows rf

Pham lf

Choi 1b

Diaz 3b

Lowe 2b

Garcia dh

Kiermaier cf

Robertson ss

Perez c

Morton p

Tonight is the Ryne Stanek bottle opener giveaway, and MLB Network host Brian Kenny, an advocate of the opener strategy, will throw out the first pitch.


  1. It would help if regular season crowds were as large and enthusiastic as the American League Division Series against Houston last month. As it is, the Rays have been at the bottom of the American League in attendance for much of the past decade despite one of the highest win totals in baseball. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    John Romano | Mayor Rick Kriseman’s decision to dismiss the shared city plan with Montreal means the Rays probably won’t get a stadium deal until their lease runs out in St. Pete in 2028.
  2. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg is excited to have a home playoff game for the first time since 2013. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    In a statement, principal owner Stuart Sternberg said they still believe the sister city plan is worth considering.
  3. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said he will not allow the Tampa Bay Rays to split its season in Montreal. The city and team are once again at an impasse until 2027, when the Trop contract ends and the Rays could move wherever the team wishes. CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    St. Petersburg’s mayor said he won’t give the Rays permission to explore playing in both Tampa Bay and Montreal. The team would become a free agent franchise after 2027.
  4. Joe Garvey (right) with Steve Garvey 1970's.  Photo Provided By Garvey Family Tampa Tribune
    John Romano | Steve Garvey does not have the cumulative stats of a Hall of Famer, but he was an MVP and 10-time All-Star and one of the most recognizable players of the 1970s and ’80s.
  5. Guillermo Heredia, center and the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate on the field after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays to clinch a wildcard playoff birth. Friday, Sept. 27, 2019 in Toronto, Canada DIRK SHADD   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times
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    Monday at 8 p.m. is when teams have to tender contracts to rostered players or they become free agents.
  7. If the Rays hadn't already committed to Mike Zunino (above), he would likely be just the kind of catcher they would be looking to as a replacement for Travis d'Arnaud. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: A look at two of their biggest decisions thus far, plus who are all these ex-Rays managing, and rumblings.
  8. The Pirates posted the news of Derek Shelton's hiring on Twitter. Twitter
    Current Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro was a finalist for the last remaining opening in the majors, for now anyway.
  9. The Rays acquired former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Brian O'Grady (34) on Wednesday. AARON DOSTER  |  AP
    With a roster spot opened, they add a first baseman/outfielder who put up big numbers at Triple-A last season.
  10. Tampa Bay Rays Matt Duffy (5) talks with the media as Rays players clean out their locker areas for end of season at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Duffy cleared release waivers on Tuesday.