The Rays take a four-game winning streak into Baltimore tonight and will have Luis Patino, the talented 21-year-old acquired from San Diego, making the start.
Patino (1-1, 1.54) has started two other games, with plans to be followed by another bulk-inning pitcher. Tonight, he will get the opportunity to make a traditional start, though manager Kevin Cash said they likely won’t push him too far past the four innings and 65 pitches he threw in his last outing May 11.
Cash said the move was made based on how well Patino has pitched and the opportunity to give the other starters an extra day’s rest.
“A little bit of everything,” Cash said from Baltimore. “We said from the onset — spring training, opening day, throughout the first month — we just don’t know how the workloads are going to go. I think (general manager Erik Neander) and the front office did a really good job of making sure that we were covered with innings, and a lot of them.
“It’s a credit to (Shane) McClanahan, to Patino, to (Josh) Fleming — those guys that have really come on strong here for us and pushed us to make decisions like that. These guys are very much equipped to help us win games. But, saying that, we were also aware that there’s going to be question marks throughout the season on workload for everybody — bullpen, starters alike. And this kind of made the most sense.”
* Cash said centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, sidelined since May 9 with a left wrist sprain, was “very, very close” to returning to active duty and would not need a minor-league rehab assignment, which means he could be ready as soon as Wednesday.
* Right-hander Chris Mazza, out since April 24 with shoulder inflammation, reported to Triple-A Durham to start a rehab assignment.
* Right-hander Michael Wacha, out since May 3 with hamstring tightness, will throw a third simulated game on Wednesday in Baltimore and then could be cleared for a return.
* Right-handed pitcher Sean Poppen was acquired from the Pirates for cash and assigned to Triple-A Durham. Poppen, 27, was designated for assignment last week; over parts of three seasons with the Pirates and Twins (2019-20) he has pitched in 13 big-league games, posting a 6.53 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 20-2/3 innings. He is 26-21, 3.39 in 85 minor-league games (72 starts).
Following the Sunday addition of infielder Wyatt Mathisen from Arizona, the Rays filled the open spots on their 40-man roster created by the trades of Hunter Strickland (to Angels) and Yoshi Tsustugo (to Dodgers).
Here is the Rays lineup:
And here is the Orioles lineup:
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