A dirty uniformed Harold Ramirez is a happy Harold Ramirez (Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Rays)

After a 3-2 loss to the Royals in extra innings, the Tampa Bay Rays look to bounce back this afternoon at the Trop.

At 63-55 on the season, the Rays enter play eight games over .500. They need to win the next two ball games to win the season series versus Kansas City and maintain a hold on an American League Wildcard spot.

Tampa Bay trails Seattle by 2.0 games for the top Wildcard, and Toronto by 1.0 games for the number two spot; they lead Minnesota by 0.5 games and Baltimore by 1.5.

Shane McClanahan allowed two runs on two hits while striking out eight and walking three over seven innings on Friday. After posting an ERA under two until July 26, McClanahan has regressed some since. From then on, the left-hander has allowed 13 earned runs across 23.2 innings for a 5.04 ERA, although he’s allowed just two runs in each of his last two turns. McClanahan picked up a quality start Friday — his 16th of the season. McClanahan threw 90 pitches (56 for strikes, 62% strike rate) in the game and maintains a 2.29 ERA and a 2.73 FIP (2.31 xFIP) overall, with a 5.97 K/BB, and a 0.86 WHIP across 141.1 innings.

While McClanahan did his job, the team couldn’t get much started against Brady Singer. The Rays were limited to 1-for-6 wRISP (.167 BA) and stranded five men on the bags. Randy Arozarena came up with a big two-RBI hit late to tie the game, however, both Isaac Paredes and Roman Quinn had opportunities to, in the very least, move runners with two outs, yet they were unsuccessful.

Reinforcements are on the way. Manuel Margot is expected to be activated from the 60-day Injured List this afternoon. The outfielder was hitting 302 BA/.365 OBP/.423 SLG/.788 OPS through 51 games, with a .346 wOBA and a 133 wRC+ before suffering a knee injury while trying to catch a fly ball against the Yankees.

To make room on the 26-man roster, Roman Quinn (left knee contusion) was placed on the 10-day Injured List — hmm, sure smells like a phantom IL stint to keep him on the roster given that he’s out of options and can return when rosters expand — and to make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Ralph Garza Jr was designated for assignment.

The New What Next

Drew Rasmussen (7-4, 2.80 ERA) will get the start this afternoon pitching opposite left-hander Kris Bubic (2-7, 5.11 ERA).

Drew Rasmussen struck out seven and allowed just one run on one hit in 8.1 innings against the Orioles on Sunday. Rasmussen came within three outs of tossing a perfect game, although his efforts were thwarted when Jorge Mateo knocked a double on the first pitch of the ninth inning. It was an efficient outing as he tossed 87 pitches (62 strikes 71% strike rate). Rasmussen was removed with one out in the ninth after his second wild pitch of the frame led to a runner reaching safely after a dropped third strike. Since returning from a hamstring injury at the beginning of July, he maintains a 1.94 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 3.67 K/BB across 41.2 innings (eight starts). Rasmussen limited the Royals to one run on seven scattered hits across five innings in July.

Kris Bubic allowed four runs on 10 hits and three walks over 5.2 innings against Minnesota on Monday. He struck out seven. Minnesota had little trouble getting to Bubic as he failed to record a clean inning all night. The effort breaks a five-start stretch in which he maintained a 2.27 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and notched four quality starts. Overall, he maintains a 5.11 ERA and a 4.61 FIP, with a 1.60 WHIP, and a 1.74 K/BB across 91.2 innings. Bubic allowed two runs on four hits and three walks across seven innings against the Rays in July. Key Matchups: Randy Arozarena (1-3), Yu Chang (1-4, RBI), Yandy Díaz (2-3, 2B, HR, RBI), Isaac Paredes (2-6, 2 BB)

You can read about the series on our preview, while the starting lineup and Noteworthiness are below.

Rays 8/20/22 Starting Lineup

  1. Díaz DH
  2. Arozarena LF
  3. Margot RF
  4. Ramírez 1B
  5. Mejía C
  6. Paredes 3B
  7. Chang 2B
  8. Walls SS
  9. Siri CF


— Nick Anderson, JT Chargois, and Yonny Chirinos — three rehabbing hurlers — worked through difficult outings for the Durham Bulls last night. Anderson, working in the second of back-to-back outings, surrendered a three-run homer, while Chargois was charged with three runs as well. Chirinos, however, gave up one run across three frames.