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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.



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