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Tampa Bay Rays at A’s wild-card lineups, with two big surprises

Rookie Mike Brosseau is starting at second and Yandy Diaz, who was supposedly limited to hitting, is starting at first base
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash speaks at a news conference before baseball practice in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. The Rays are scheduled to face the Oakland Athletics in an American League wild-card game Wednesday, Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash speaks at a news conference before baseball practice in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. The Rays are scheduled to face the Oakland Athletics in an American League wild-card game Wednesday, Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) [ JEFF CHIU | AP ]
Published Oct. 2, 2019

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Rays lineup for tonight’s AL wild-card game contains two surprises, as the Rays are clearly going for offense early in the game, starting rookie Mike Brosseau at second base and Yandy Diaz, who was supposedly limited to hitting, at first base.

Diaz was activated off the injured list for Sunday’s season finale in Toronto after being sidelined more than two months with a fractured left foot. Manager Kevin Cash said several times in the last few days he wasn’t expected to play the field, implying he would be limited to pinch-hit duties. Diaz said he took ground balls at third base at the Trop and during a couple trips to instructional league in Port Charlotte, and he did again during Tuesday’s workout, but said he didn’t get any work at first.

One other slight surprise, though as much a creation of the roster construction, is that the Rays don’t have any true backup outfielders available, as they are carrying only four and have Tommy Pham as the DH. Brosseau and Joey Wendle could be used in the outfield if needed.

Here is the Rays lineup against A’s lefty starter Sean Manaea, and with four lefties in the bullpen:

Diaz 1b

Pham dh

Meadows lf

d’Arnuad c

Duffy 3b

Garcia rf

Adames ss

Kiermaier cf

Brosseau 2b

Morton p

A’s lineup when available.