ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays will turn to Luis Patino to start Monday’s series opener against the Red Sox.
Patino, the right-hander who has had an up-and-down, injury-abbreviated season, has been called up to take the place of injured ace Shane McClanahan.
Patino has pitched only four times for the Rays this season. He strained an oblique in his April 11 season debut and missed two months before starting a long minor-league rehab stint. Also delayed by a blister issue, Patino made two July appearances for the Rays, then was sent back to Triple-A Durham. He was summoned for a spot start Aug. 18 and pitched well, delivering 5 2/3 shutout innings.
The Rays will have to make room for him on the active roster, likely by dropping reliever Matt Wisler. A steady line of teammates and several coaches were at Wisler’s locker after Sunday’s game, seemingly saying goodbye.
Wisler was reinstated Thursday from the injured list, having been sidelined for six weeks with a neck strain, and he worked two innings Sunday.
Wander Franco was 2-for-4 with a walk as the DH in five plate appearances for Triple-A Durham on Sunday as he resumed his rehab assignment. Franco, who broke the hamate bone in his right hand July 9, is slated to play with Durham through Saturday, though that schedule can be adjusted. He tried to make an earlier return, joining Durham on Aug. 15, but he made just two plate appearances before leaving the game with discomfort in the hand.
Brandon Lowe took swings, fielded ground balls and made throws Sunday, all signs of progress as he recovers from being hit on the right elbow by a pitch Aug. 26, sustaining nerve and triceps damage. “He’s doing much better,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Quick turnaround.” Lowe is eligible to come off the injured list Wednesday. “I don’t know if we’ll get there,” Cash said. “I hope so.”
And McClanahan played catch for the first time since skipping his Tuesday start due to a left shoulder impingement and receiving a cortisone shot and “felt great,” per Cash. “Like I said, he’ll be back very soon.” McClanahan is eligible to return Sept. 15, the last day of the trip to Toronto.
And the benches clear ...
Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson reacted angrily to an up-and-in fastball from Rays pitcher Shawn Armstrong when he led off the second inning. It was ball four and Donaldson wasn’t hit, but both benches quickly cleared and hovered near the first-base line with only minimal pushing and shoving. “(Donaldson) was just saying, ‘Get it down!’” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “That’s just heat-of-the-moment competition.”
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Judge chasing Maris
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit his career-best 53rd home run. With 28 games remaining, Judge is eight homers behind the American League record of 61 established by Roger Maris in 1961. Through 134 games, Judge is ahead of Maris’ pace (53 homers to 51).
“Look, he’s a special player,” Cash said. “He’s having just an MVP season. He’s really tough to pitch to.”
Judge has the most MLB home runs since 2019 (Mets first baseman Pete Alonso with 53) and the most homers by an AL player since 2013 (Baltimore’s Chris Davis with 53) and now stands alone in eighth place for Yankees’ single-season homers. With another homer, Judge will tie Alex Rodriguez (2007), Mickey Mantle (1961) and Babe Ruth (1920, 1928).
Yankees’ Benintendi update
Yankees outfielder Andrew Benintendi, placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday, was diagnosed with a broken hook of the hamate bone in his right wrist that will need surgery, but he’s holding out hope for a return late in the season or in the potential playoffs. Benintendi said he had hamate surgery and the bone removed during his freshman year at the University of Arkansas. “I don’t know much about bones or that you could grow another bone … but it is what it is,” Benintendi said. “I’m hoping for the best.”
The Yankees lead the season series 9-7 against the Rays. ... Sunday’s announced crowd of 25,025 marked the fourth sellout this year (with the upper deck closed), most in a season since 2010 (six). … Centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, done with the crutches as he recovers from season-ending hip surgery, was at the Trop with wife Marisa for the Kiermaier’s Kids program with the Children’s Dream Fund. The Kiermaiers donate $30,000 annually to help fulfill dreams of children dealing with life-threatening illnesses.
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