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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]
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, 2019
Updated Oct. 10, 2019

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 starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) pitches at the top of the first inning against Cleveland Indians on Sunday, Sept. 01, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.   [Times]
  2. Imagine what Tropicana Field would be like if fans showed up every day the way they did for Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Astros last October. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  3. Jose Altuve and other Astros stars hear it from fans in Lakeland, who aren't shy about reminding them of the sign-signing scandal. [FRANK FRANKLIN II  |  AP]
  4. Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (25), left, celebrates his solo home run with Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Willy Adames (1) during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in Port Charlotte. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
  5. Fans line up to enter Tropicana Field during Game 3 of the 2019 American League Division Series (ALDS) Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in St. Petersburg. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
  6. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers Trevor Richards, left, and John Curtiss in practice during spring training in Port Charlotte. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  7. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Yonny Chirinos (72) delivers on the mound against the New York Yankees during first inning action at Tropicana Field, September 24, 2019 in St. Petersburg, FL. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  8. The Phillie Phanatic mascot walks on the third-base dugout while the Phillies play the Pirates in a spring training game at Spectrum Field in Clearwater on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. The Phanatic has a new look amid a legal fight with the long-running mascot's creators, but officials say don't expect the Phanatic's famous attitude to go anywhere. [YONG KIM  |  AP]
  9. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Anthony Banda during the start of spring training in Port Charlotte, Florida on Thursday, February 13, 2020.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  10. Yoshi Tsutsugo of the Tampa Bay Rays gets his first career hit of spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays during a game against the New York Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, FL on February 23, 2020. [KEVIN SABITUS  |  Tampa Bay Rays]
  11. Tampa Bay Rays Japanese slugger Yoshi Tsutsugo prepares to head to the batting cage during batting practice on the Rays first full-squad workout at the Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 in Port Charlotte.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
  12. Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark, shown here in a 2017 file photo, said getting the players to go along with the Rays' Tampa Bay-Montreal split season plan would “be difficult.’’ [VRAGOVIC, WILL  |  Tampa Bay Times]