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Tampa Bay Rays lineup vs. Astros in ALDS Game 5 Thursday

Sogard gets first start since mid-September as Rays plot to counter Astros Cole.
Tampa Bay Rays Eric Sogard (9), connects for a single scoring Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Joey Wendle (18) during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 in Houston. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Oct. 10
Updated Oct. 10

UPDATE, 6:07: Cash said indeed the decision on Sogard was based on adding more of a contact hitter. Cash said Sogard is 100 percent defensively, but acknowledged stamina may be an issue since he hasn’t played a full game in nearly a month. Cash said he was confident Sogard would be honest about how he was feeling. ... Sogard said he was quite excited by the opportunity. ... Otherwise, Cash said he felt good about the mood of the team and vibe in the clubhouse, that playing three other elimination games has put them in good position to know how to handle this. ... SS Willy Adames said what a number of Rays are chatting about, that the pressure is on the Astros. "Eeverybody is counting us out already,' he said. "They’re making the schedule, the Yankees and the Astros. So I would say the pressure is on them. Obviously because they went to Tropicana up 2-0. So like I said, nobody thought that we’d come back to Houston, and we’re here. I’d say the pressure is on them, for sure.'' ... Cash said Yandy Diaz (foot) is available to pinch-hit but probably not much else.

UPDATE, 3:10: The Rays are the 16th team to force a fifth game in a best-of-five series after losing the first 10, and history is on their side as 10 have won. ... This is the Rays fourth elimination game in the last nine days, and their second winner take all game. They beat the A’s in the AL wild-card game last Wednesday, then had to win Game 3 on Monday night at the Trop and Game 4 on Tuesday to get here tonight. ... This is the 15th overall postseason in which a team went down 0-2 to an opponent that won 105 or more games, and none of the first 14 won. The only one that got to within a victory of winning the series, as the Rays are tonight, was the 2004 Astros who came back to lead the Cardinals 3-2 in the NLCS but lost in seven games.

DEVELOPING: The Rays lineup for the fifth and deciding game of the ALDS vs. Houston has a slightly different look, with Eric Sogard, and his contact-oriented hitting approach, getting a start at second base ahead of Brandon Lowe.

This is Sogard’s first start since mid-September, as he was sidelined with a bruised foot.

Tyler Glasnow starts for the Rays, Gerrit Cole, who struck out 15 in Game 2, for the Astros.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Meadows lf

Pham dh

Choi 1b

d’Arnaud c

Sogard 2b

Garcia rf

Wendle 3b

Kiermaier cf

Adames ss

Glasnow p

And here is the Astros lineup, with Martin Maldonado catching Gerrit Cole, as usual:

Springer cf

Brantley lf

Altuve 2b

Bregman 3b

Alvarez dh

Gurriel 1b

Correa ss

Reddick rf

Maldonado c

Cole p


  1. Tampa Bay Rays leftfielder Tommy Pham (29) takes a moment in the dugout after the Rays' 6-2 loss to the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Contract terms for every player currently on Tampa Bay’s roster.
  2. The Yankees' Gleyber Torres hits a home run off Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke during the sixth inning in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. SUE OGROCKI  |  AP
    The 22-year-old homers and has five RBIs, the youngest AL player to drive in that many in a postseason game in major-league history.
  3. Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier (39), right, and shortstop Willy Adames (1) celebrate the Rays 10-3 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times
    Rays Tales: Underdogs really do almost “shock the world,” and Kevin Cash deserves serious American League manager of the year consideration.
  4. Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez pitches during the eighth inning of Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Cardinals on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. MARK HUMPHREY  |  AP
    Starter Anibal Sanchez has a no-hitter through 7 2/3 innings before giving up a clean single to center.
  5. Rays catcher Travis d'Arnaud and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow walk back to the dugout after the Astros score four runs in the first inning of Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Manager Kevin Cash says that wasn’t the main problem for the four-run first inning in Game 5 of the ALDS. It was the Astros’ hitters.
  6. The Tampa Bay Rays grounds crew works to remove the ALDS playoff logo along the first base line on the field at Tropicana Field on Friday. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    That’s what the team stresses as it faces an offseason with roster flexibility.
  7. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, on left, along with Erik Neander, center, senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, and Chaim Bloom, senior vice president of baseball operations, address the media during a news conference at Tropicana Field on Friday. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    John Romano: And while they’re at it, find a consistent closer and a bat with some pop.
  8. Houston Astros players celebrate their 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Preparing for Rays steady steam of relievers was a significant challenge for Houston’s hitters.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) reacts after giving up a hit to Houston Astros center fielder George Springer (4) in the first inning in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Rays Journal: Did the Astros know what was coming during their four-run, first-inning explosion?
  10. Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi (26) walks from the field after striking out swinging to end the game against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Houston. Houston Astros defeated the Rays 6-1. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    John Romano: How to think about a team that was everything Tampa Bay could ask for, except good enough Thursday night.