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Rays report: Kevin Kiermaier not in lineup, Vidal Brujan leading off

Tampa Bay looks to avoid being swept by the Yankees after a rough first two nights in New York.
Kevin Kiermaier left Wednesday’s game in the third inning when left calf/Achilles tightness that had been bothering him for a week or so got worse.
Kevin Kiermaier left Wednesday’s game in the third inning when left calf/Achilles tightness that had been bothering him for a week or so got worse. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jun. 16|Updated Jun. 16

NEW YORK — The Rays are looking to avoid being swept by the Yankees tonight and will have to do so without centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier in the lineup.

Kiermaier left Wednesday’s game in the third inning when left calf/Achilles tightness that had been bothering him for a week or so got worse.

Kiermaier said he felt the same or slightly better Thursday, with the hope he can spend the night getting treatment and rest and potentially return to the lineup Friday, though he won’t be sure until he sees how he feels.

With scheduled Thursday starter Drew Rasmussen placed on the injured list due to a hamstring strain, the Rays will go with somewhat of a bullpen-day arrangement. Lefty Jalen Beeks will be the opener, and right-hander Ralph Garza Jr. is expected to work bulk innings.

The Yankees were to start right-hander Luis Severino, but he was placed on the COVID-related IL earlier today. Clarke Schmidt will start, with the potential to throw 40-50 pitches. Ryan Weber, a St. Petersburg native and former Ray, was called up.

In an effort to change the look of what has been a quiet offense, manager Kevin Cash moved rookie switch-hitter Vidal Brujan to the leadoff spot.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And for the Yankees:

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