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Rays report: Jonathan Aranda set for debut; good news on Manuel Margot

After a rough stretch, a day off was welcome and now a weekend series against the Pirates awaits.
Rays infielder Jonathan Aranda (62) watches his team play against the Yankees during the first inning at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.
Rays infielder Jonathan Aranda (62) watches his team play against the Yankees during the first inning at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Jun. 24|Updated Jun. 24

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays get back to work tonight hoping a day off and a weekend series against the Pirates get them back on track after a rough stretch, in which they lost nine of their last 12, including five to the MLB-best Yankees.

Infielder Jonathan Aranda, who was called up Tuesday, is set to make his major-league debut tonight, playing second base and hitting seventh against the Pirates and right-hander Mitch Keller.

Outfielder Luke Raley, also called up Tuesday, will make his first appearance with the Rays, hitting fifth and playing leftfield. Raley made his big-league debut last year for the Dodgers.

Lefty Jeffrey Springs starts for the Rays tonight, coming off a rougher outing Saturday at Baltimore.

The Pirates are managed by former Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton.

Rays manager Kevin Cash shared some relatively good news about the status of injured outfielder Manuel Margo both during his weekly segment on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM and then in his pre-game interview.

Cash said the issue in Margot’s right knee, which he hurt Monday jumping into the rightfield wall for a ball, was with the patellar tendon, and that it was a “significant” strain, but that it was not the ACL, which would have been more serious.

Cash said they are still gathering information but from what they’ve heard so far are “confident” Margot can rehab the injury and avoid surgery. But he still will be out at least two months, potentially returning late in the season.

Cash also said that right-hander Drew Rasmussen (hamstring) will throw a sim game Saturday in Port Charlotte. If all goes well, he could re-join the rotation next week in Toronto, where the Rays play five games in four days.

Also, Wander Franco (right quad) will DH tonight for Triple-A Durham in Jacksonville and if all goes well will return to St. Petersburg on Saturday to be reevaluated. Best guess in that case is that he could be activated Sunday.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And for the Pirates:

• • •

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