After dropping both games against Boston, the Tampa Bay Rays will open a four-game series today against Cleveland.
The Rays took two of three in Cleveland in May, winning the last two games. The Rays enter this four-game set in the throes of a historically bad slump, and have scored just four runs over the last four games.
Lucas Duda, who was a late scratch from the lineup last night with a left thumb contusion, is back in the lineup tonight hitting second out of the DH spot. Duda said his thumb feels better, that he’s “good to go” tonight, and that he didn’t need to test it during batting practice.
Blake Snell (0-6, 4.98 ERA, 5.05 FIP) will take the mound opposite of Danny Salazar (4-5, 4.35 ERA, 3.96 FIP).
Snell was recalled from Triple-A Durham on Tuesday after being demoted a week or so back. The southpaw is expected to start Thursday in place of Alex Cobb, who was placed on the disabled list with turf toe (retroactive to 8/6).
Salazar fanned a career-high 12 in seven innings of one-run ball against the Evil Empire in his last turn. He has been great since coming off the DL on July 22, going 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 20 innings. Salazar has now allowed just three runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out 28 batters in that stretch. The Rays were able to torch the right-hander for five runs on six hits (including four homers) over five innings of work on May 21. Key Matchups: Peter Bourjos (1-4), Corey Dickerson (2-5, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB), Wilson Ramos (1-2, 2B)
Rays 8/10/17 Starting Lineup
Souza Jr. RF
— RHP Jake Odorizzi, who left Wednesday’s game after being hit by a line drive on the right foot, is expected to make his next start on Monday. Odorizzi will throw a bullpen session before Friday’s ball game to test out that right foot before an official decision will be made.
— Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) asserted that right-handed outfielder Daniel Robertson, who was designated for assignment to make room for Jay Bruce on Cleveland’s 40-man roster, could be targeted by the Rays.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) August 10, 2017
Topkin also noted that while the price is steep, the Rays might be wise to pick up Ian Kinsler, who was placed on revocable trade waivers by Detroit. Kinsler is owed just over $3-Million for rest of season, plus a $10-Million club option or a $5-Million buyout for 2018.