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Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier sidelined by left wrist sprain

Rays notes | The centerfielder was hurt sliding into second base in the second inning; X-rays were negative.
The Rays' Kevin Kiermaier, right, walks with a trainer back to the dugout after spraining his wrist in the second inning Saturday against the A's.
The Rays' Kevin Kiermaier, right, walks with a trainer back to the dugout after spraining his wrist in the second inning Saturday against the A's. [ TONY AVELAR | Associated Press ]
Published May 8
Updated May 9

Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier seems headed to the injured list after spraining his left wrist in Saturday’s game.

Kiermaier was hurt sliding headfirst into second base on an unsuccessful steal attempt, his wrist hitting the knee of A’s infielder Matt Chapman, who was covering second.

Kiermaier’s reaction indicated he was in serious pain and left the game immediately. The team said X-rays were negative, but manager Kevin Cash said they would have a better idea Sunday if Kiermaier’s latest injury would result in a second trip to the injured list this season.

“Potentially it could be,” Cash said. “The X-rays were negative, which is a good thing. But he kind of jammed it, sprained it. We’ll see how he feels (Sunday) morning. But I know he’s pretty sore, and he might be sore for a couple days now.”

The Rays could buy some time on the decision, as they are off Monday before opening a six-game homestand against the Yankees and Mets on Tuesday. If they need to add another outfielder, Josh Lowe and Vidal Brujan (who also plays infield) are rostered options at Triple-A.

Kiermaier’s injury came after the Rays earlier had placed catcher Francisco Mejia on the injured list with rib cage soreness.

Kiermaier missed time with injuries in four straight seasons, including seven weeks in 2016 after breaking two bones in his left hand when diving for a ball. He also has been sidelined with thumb injuries in 2018 and 2019, and in 2017 with a fractured hip.

McClanahan on the mound

The A’s are one of the few teams that knows what to expect from hard-throwing rookie lefty Shane McClanahan, having faced him in his first start April 29. McClanahan, who allowed two runs over four innings and struck out five, said he won’t change what he’s doing in Sunday’s start because of who he is facing.

“I don’t really care, to be honest with you, about that,” he said. “It’s on the schedule, and that’s the team I’ve got to pitch against. I’m going to treat it like it’s my first time going against them. And I’m just going to attack and trust the game plan. … Once you start overthinking things is (when) you go down a bad rat hole.”

On the offense

Having gone 1-for-36 against lefties, Brandon Lowe figure he would try something else against extremely tough A’s reliever Jake Diekman. With the Oakland infield shifted for him to pull, Lowe instead pushed a bunt down the third-base line for a hit in the eighth. “It was more dictated by the pitcher,” he said. “There’s a lot of a lefty’s worst nightmare on the mound right there.”

The Rays also tried jump-starting their offense by being more aggressive in on the bases, Cash acknowledging “we had maybe the green light a little bit more today than the past.” Though they started several runners, they were only 1-for-2 in steals.

Miscellany

⋅ After going 1-for-10 in three games and being off Friday, first baseman Ji-Man Choi continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham on Saturday. Kevin Padlo hit his fourth homer and Brujan his third early in the game.

⋅ Seth Brown’s homer with two outs in the ninth Friday that gave the A’s a 2-1 win was the Rays’ third walkoff loss of this season, but the first on a home run since July 27, 2019, at Toronto when Teoscar Hernandez beat them. It also was the majors most-matching third time this season the Rays lost when allowing two or fewer runs.

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