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Rays’ Drew Rasmussen makes it short and sweet vs. Tigers

Notes | A plan to provide extra rest and lighten his workload limited Tampa Bay’s starter to three (no-hit) innings.
Rays starter Drew Rasmussen threw three no-hit innings and needed just 33 pitches to do so Sunday against the Tigers in Detroit.
Rays starter Drew Rasmussen threw three no-hit innings and needed just 33 pitches to do so Sunday against the Tigers in Detroit. [ CARLOS OSORIO | AP ]
Published Aug. 7

DETROIT — Drew Rasmussen got a heads-up from manager Kevin Cash a couple of days ago that he was going to have a short outing Sunday, as the Rays wanted to take advantage of two off days this week to get their starters extra rest.

But Rasmussen didn’t know just how short.

So, after throwing three no-hit innings — needing an impressively efficient 33 pitches to do so — he headed up to the clubhouse ostensibly to change out of his sweat-soaked jersey into a dry one.

“I tried to hide from (Cash) a little bit after the third,” Rasmussen said. “I didn’t know exactly when he was coming to get me, so I came up here. I don’t know exactly how he phrased it, but he said, ‘You really picked a good one to be efficient in.’ I was hoping to go back out there for the fourth, but I understood what the plan was.”

The Rays are concerned about the number of innings Rasmussen is throwing, as well as Shane McClanahan, Jeffrey Springs and even veteran Corey Kluber. Rasmussen’s 91-1/3 are his most in three pro seasons, and the fact that he already has had two Tommy John elbow surgeries adds to the team’s caution.

“It was good for ‘Rass’ just to maybe shorten, cut into his workload a little bit — we’re still monitoring that,” Cash said. “The irony is that he was so efficient, but we’ll take it. He’ll be that much fresher whenever he comes back around.”

Rasmussen said he gets it: “Just looking at the season as a whole, we’re getting to a point where I haven’t thrown this many innings in a while. So it’s just a chance to catch my breath a little bit.”

The Rays considered going with all relievers on Sunday and pushing Rasmussen’s start to Tuesday but were concerned that would lead to too much rest for some of the others, with more than a week between starts.

Taking it slow

Pitching coach Kyle Snyder was moving a bit slower but still on the job Sunday after his right calf “popped” as he headed from the dugout to the mound during the seventh inning of Saturday’s game.

Snyder had a compression sleeve and some Kinesio tape (which reduces pain and inflammation), and was able to do his usual duties before Sunday’s game, including making a mound visit.

“We’ll be good,” he said. “Hopefully, there will be a little understanding if I’m slow.”

Snyder said he heard from plenty of friends making wisecracks about his situation.

All about Yu

Rays infielder Yu Chang pitches during the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the Tigers in Detroit.
Rays infielder Yu Chang pitches during the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the Tigers in Detroit. [ CARLOS OSORIO | AP ]
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Infielder Yu Chang, who pitched the eighth inning Saturday, joined reliever Esteban Yan as the only Rays to hit and allow a home run in the same game. Yan went deep June 4, 2000, at the Mets in his first big-league at-bat. … Chang joined Pirates infielder Diego Castillo as the only other big-leaguer to do so this season. ... Two others have homered and pitched in the same game: the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and the Giants’ Luis Gonzalez.

Miscellany

After drawing a team single-game record 13 walks Friday, the Rays had 27 for the four games, their most in any series. The series record was 26 on July 8-11, 2010 at Cleveland. … Reliever Matt Wisler, who hoped to come off the injured list this week, is still having issues with his stiff neck, and a return anytime soon seems unlikely. … JT Chargois (oblique) may be close to returning, as he pitched in back-to-back games for Triple-A Durham. ... The Rays have Monday off in Milwaukee, where they play Tuesday for the first time since 2011.

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