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Rays’ Shane McClanahan looks to bounce back, Yandy Diaz not in lineup

After clinching a playoff berth on Friday, Tampa Bay is still battling for positioning in the wild-card field.
Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan is hoping for a better outing tonight against the Astros.
Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan is hoping for a better outing tonight against the Astros. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Oct. 1|Updated Oct. 1

HOUSTON — With a playoff berth clinched Friday, the Rays are still playing for seeding in the three-team American League wild-card field, and the possibility, albeit slim, to host a best-of-three series next weekend.

Also of interest tonight will be the performance of Shane McClanahan, their lefty ace who has not been sharp in his last two starts after a strong return following a 15-day injured list stint due to a shoulder impingement.

Having him pitch well, and feel good about what he does, would be of huge benefit to the Rays as they head into the playoffs, which will start Friday at either Toronto, Seattle, Cleveland or Tropicana Field.

Yandy Diaz is not in the lineup tonight, saying he felt some soreness in his cranky left shoulder in the last at-bat of his otherwise strong return to the lineup Friday, rapping three hits in his first start since Sept. 19. He and the Rays said they will balance keeping him sharp for the playoffs and resting his shoulder over the final five days of the regular season.

Right-hander Cristian Javier is starting for the Astros, who on Friday clinched the AL’s top seed.

Rays reliever Brooks Raley, an Astro the two previous seasons, got his 2021 AL Championship ring before Saturday’s game.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And for the Astros:

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