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One blemish for Shane McClanahan in another stellar outing

Notebook | The Rays lefty laments the first-inning homer by Anthony Rizzo in an otherwise strong performance.
Rays starter Shane McClanahan pitches in the second inning against the Yankees on Monday.
Rays starter Shane McClanahan pitches in the second inning against the Yankees on Monday. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Jun. 21

ST. PETERSBURG — It was another dominating start for Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan, but he was lamenting his only mistake, a first-inning footnote in Monday’s 4-2 defeat against the Yankees at Tropicana Field.

McClanahan departed after the sixth inning, trailing 1-0. He struck out eight, walked one and allowed four hits. But one of the hits was a solo home run by Anthony Rizzo on a 2-2 pitch with McClanahan one strike away from an escape.

“I made a really bad pitch,” McClanahan said of his 97 mph four-seam fastball that Rizzo drove into the rightfield stands. “Anthony Rizzo is too good of a hitter to let that go by, and he did deposit it where he should have deposited it — and that was 30 rows deep. … Just terrible, terrible location and execution on my part. … Tip your hat, make an adjustment from that and just try to think about the positives.”

McClanahan did just that, retiring the next 11 consecutive batters, including a breaking-ball masterpiece theater in the fourth, when he struck out Aaron Judge, Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton (all swinging).

Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole was the game’s pitching headliner after taking a no-hitter into the eighth.

“Gerrit threw the hell out of the ball,” said McClanahan, who leads the majors with 113 strikeouts. “He’s always a treat to watch. I love the way he competes on the mound.”

Added Rays manager Kevin Cash: “I was thrilled with the way McClanahan threw the ball again. You’re talking about two of the game’s best starting pitchers going toe to toe, and they both had electric stuff. Certainly, our guy did.”

Setback for Anderson

Reliever Nick Anderson’s comeback is stalled again due to ongoing elbow issues. He is scheduled to meet Tuesday with specialist Dr. Keith Meister in Texas. “Not ideal,” Cash said.

Anderson has been trying to work his way back since being diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament in spring training 2021. The right-hander pitched in six games in September but was not dominant like previous seasons.

In October, he opted for the installation of a suture-like collagen-coated brace to support his ulnar collateral ligament. It was a much simpler procedure and required less recovery time than Tommy John surgery. But the results have been inconsistent, with Anderson, 31, recently saying that some days his velocity was close to normal and other days not.

Other injury updates from Cash: Second baseman Brandon Lowe resumed rotational activity after being shut down four days following a recurrence of the lower-back issue that sidelined him since mid-May. He might start swinging a bat again Tuesday. “See how he feels and then go from there,” Cash said. “No calendar timetable yet.” … Reliever JP Feyereisen (shoulder bone bruise) is feeling better but still has symptoms and hasn’t begun throwing. … Reliever Pete Fairbanks (lat muscle strain) will progress to a full bullpen session on Friday and could throw his first live batting practice next Monday. … Starter Luis Patino (oblique strain) is scheduled to make his second rehab appearance Tuesday for Triple-A Durham. … Catcher Mike Zunino was slated to receive a Botox injection Monday to potentially alleviate left-arm symptoms (the team believes it is thoracic outlet syndrome).

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Wander vision

Wander Franco went 2-for-3 in his second rehab appearance for the Florida Complex League team. He struck out against Red Sox starter Chris Sale in his first at-bat. He also doubled (then was thrown out attempting to steal third) and hit an infield single.

Franco has been out since May 31 and limited before then by a right quad strain. Assuming Franco feels good, he will join Triple-A Durham in Jacksonville for games on Wednesday through Friday. Cash said the Rays will then “see where we go from there.”

Miscellany

Reliever Chris Mazza, who made the Rays’ opening-day roster, was designated for assignment Monday after completing a 30-day rehab assignment for back issues at Triple-A Durham. … Reliever Luke Bard was sent to Durham to clear a spot for outfielder Josh Lowe. … Bally Sports will launch direct-to-consumer streaming of Rays games starting Friday for a $19.99 monthly fee. … The Rays are 2-6 against the Yankees and have their first four-game losing streak against them since 2019. … The Yankees became the fifth major-league team to win 50 of their first 67 games and the first since the Mariners (52-15) in 2001.

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