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Rays expect Shane McClanahan to start Sunday, but lose Jalen Beeks

Notes | Lefty starter feels good after his early Tuesday exit; the reliever is placed on the injured list due to a right leg issue.
Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan, left, looks back at trainer Mike Sandoval after being taken out of the game against the Astros during the fifth inning Tuesday.
Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan, left, looks back at trainer Mike Sandoval after being taken out of the game against the Astros during the fifth inning Tuesday. [ CHRIS O'MEARA | AP ]
Published Sep. 22|Updated Sep. 22

ST. PETERSBURG — Shane McClanahan, despite leaving Tuesday’s game with a neck issue, is set to make his next start for the Rays as scheduled on Sunday.

But lefty reliever Jalen Beeks will be out at least until the final series of the regular season due to a recurrence of a right leg issue that also sidelined him in July.

McClanahan was taken out in the fifth inning Tuesday when manager Kevin Cash and the athletic training staff noticed him stretching his neck and flexing his left shoulder. That was of additional concern given McClanahan had just returned last week from an impingement that sidelined him for 15 days.

McClanahan said after the game he felt fine, and reiterated that in multiple conversations Wednesday.

“(We’re) very encouraged,” Cash said. “Talking to him today, his exact words were that if I had an inning for him in the bullpen, he would like to go pitch. So that makes me feel pretty good.

“Still confident we did the right thing with getting him out of the ballgame, but totally expect him to be in line for his next start.”

Jalen Beeks won't return until at least the end of the regular season.
Jalen Beeks won't return until at least the end of the regular season. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

After Beeks’ last outing on Saturday against Texas, Cash said it was “the best he’s looked in a while.”

But Beeks won’t be pitching again until at least the Oct. 3-5 final regular-season series, as he was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Sunday, with tightness in an area at the top of his right calf/behind his knee.

“Just really didn’t want to push it and make it worse,” Beeks said. “It’s a little tender.”

To take Beeks’ spot in the bullpen, the Rays called up Dusten Knight from Triple-A Durham for his fourth stint of the season. That arrangement may be short term as the Rays are hoping to activate Tyler Glasnow from the injured list to pitch next Wednesday in Cleveland.

To add Knight to the 40-man roster, they recalled reliever Nick Anderson and placed him on the 60-day injured list due to plantar fasciitis.

Not so minor matters

High Class A Bowling Green beat Aberdeen (Orioles) 4-0 in the third and decisive game to win the South Atlantic League championship, their second straight league title and third in four seasons. ... The Rays will announce winners of the minor-league awards, including organization and team honors, on Thursday, with many present and signing autographs from 5:15-6 p.m. along the rightfield line.

Miscellany

Jesuit High product Lance McCullers Jr. works seven innings Wednesday for the Astros.
Jesuit High product Lance McCullers Jr. works seven innings Wednesday for the Astros. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
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JT Chargois will be the opener Thursday, with lefty Ryan Yarbrough (and his career 8-3, 3.36 mark vs. Toronto) expected to work bulk innings. ... Rene Pinto, who was serving as the third catcher, may be headed back to Triple-A Durham, based on the post-game handshakes and hugs he was getting. ... The Rays were done in Wednesday primarily by a pair of local products, as Jesuit High’s Lance McCullers Jr. worked seven strong innings for the win and Plant High product Kyle Tucker hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the eighth. “I like to play guys in front of their home folks ... they tend to do better,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “McCullers dealin’ on the mound, and Tuck got that big homer. It means something to play in front of the family.” Tucker’s homer was his 29th of the season, 12th off a lefty.

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