ST. PETERSBURG — Left-hander Jalen Beeks will serve as the opener for the Rays today as they close a quick two-game set against the Blue Jays at 12:10 p.m. Lefty Ryan Yarbrough will follow on the mound.
The start is Beeks’ sixth of the season — building on the career-high he already set with his fourth — and his first since throwing two innings against the Red Sox on July 4. That game, he didn’t allow a run while striking out two hitters. Today marks the 14th game this season the Rays have used an opener.
The Rays have lost eight of 11 games since the All-Star break and hold a narrow one-game lead over Cleveland for the final American League wild-card spot. Their defeat, a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays Tuesday, featured just two hits — both by Taylor Walls, a single and home run — and spoiled six innings of one-run pitching by Drew Rasmussen.
Yandy Díaz returns to the lineup for the first time since July 31, and with the Blue Jays starting left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, manager Kevin Cash rested Brandon Lowe. Jose Siri, acquired from Houston earlier this week, will start in centerfield for the second consecutive game.
Kikuchi last pitched against the Rays on June 30, when he threw six innings and limited them to four hits and one run.
Here is the Rays’ lineup:
And here is the Blue Jays’ lineup:
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