The Rays made a late switch announced just before game time and opted to have rookie RHP Austin Pruitt start rather than RHP Erasmo Ramirez, a move they said was due to uncertainty in the weather forecast in regards to rain interrupting play.
Pruitt, who has been working as a long reliever, last pitched on Saturday, so he is well rested. Though still sporting a 7.94 ERA, he has been pitching better of late, earning wins in his last two outings.
The Rays were looking for at least six inniings from Ramirez, who is making his second start in place of injured RHP Jake Odorizzi, who is due back Monday.
UPDATE, 5:38: The forecast has improved, and the chances for the game to start on time and be played without interruption have increased, though the temperature seems to be dropping. ... Souza said when he woke up and the elbow didn't hurt too bad he texted Cash and said he was good to go. ... Cash said he went with Morrison in the lineup because Miley is not overly tough on lefty hitters and that he wants to get Morrison, Miller and Weeks going. ... RHP Jake Odorizzi's four-inning sim game was pushed back until Wednesday when the Rays hope to be able to get him on the field and so he is on a five-day schedule to return on Monday.
Here is the Orioles lineup: Smith rf Jones cf Machado 3b Davis 1b Trumbo dh Kim lf Schoop 2b hardy ss Joseph c Miley p
UPDATE, 3:05: The weather remains uncertain but there is good news for the Rays regarding one injury issue as Souza is in the lineup and in RF. Also, there appears to be a nod toward better defense as Logan Morrison is starting at 1B against the lefty, with Rickie Weeks at DH. That alos means rookie Daniel Robertson is not playing.
Jake Odorizzi said he is over the left hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list and ready to return when eligible Wednesday.
Here are updates on severa of the Rays injured players:
* RHP Jake Odorizzi said he is over the left hamstring strain that landed him on the DL and ready to return when eligible Wednesday. But the Rays want him to throw a four-inning simulated game today, which means he likely won't make his return until the next time his slot comes up, on Monday in Miami, where he will have to bat, and run the bases. "I'm back, everything feels normal, I'm just waiting to get the ball,'' he said.
* RHP Tommy Hunter (calf strain) could be sidelined into June.
* LHP Xavier Cedeno (forearm tightness), was seen by team Dr. Koco Eaton and now will get a second opinion this week from noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
* OF Mallex Smith (hamstring) did rehab work in extended spring Monday (and took live batting practice off DL-ed prospect RHP Jose De Leon) and will play for the Stone Crabs tonight.
* OF Colby Rasmus (hip surgery), targeting a Friday return in Toronto, continued his rehab at Double-A Montomery, going 0-for-2 with a walk and is now 1-for-12 in his first four games. …
There was good reason to pin Monday's 6-3 loss to the Orioles on Chris Archer, given how he allowed three homers in a five-batter span bridging the sixth and seventh innings, quickly turning a 3-1 advantage into a 5-3 deficit, and didn't have much explanation for it except to say, over and over, that he needs to "execute at a higher level.''
But there was better reason to blame his teammates, who failed repeatedly to expand the early lead they took against Ubaldo Jimenez, with a Corey Dickerson leadoff homer in the first and a two-run double by Shane Peterson in the fourth.
"We definitely let him off the hook, didn't capitalize on some situations,'' OF Steven Souza Jr. said. "We've got to do a better job capitalizing when he's weak and preying on him.''
But this wasn't an isolated incident.
While there has been more attention, understandably, paid to the defensive miscues and bullpen blowups that have cost the Rays, their overall productive offense has shown a lack of killer instinct that surfaced repeatedly. …
Marc Topkin checks in from windy Baltimore, where the Rays are scheduled to play the Orioles.
Having gone 1-6 on their first road trip of the season, the Rays are aiming for better as they - weather permitting - open a nine-day, eight-game, three-city roadtrip tonight in Baltimore, with Chris Archer on the mound. It was windy this afternoon, as you can see, and rain is expected tonight:
UPDATE, 4:08: LHP Xavier Cedeno will undergo further testing and exams to determine how long he will be out due to the forearm tightness. ... Cash said Kiermaier was still "not feeling very well" but said he was good enough to play. ... Managing without a lefty reliever will be "a little tricky,'' Cash said. They will rely on RHP Danny Farquhar, who is effective vs. lefty hitters with his changeup, though he may not be available tonight after a heavy workload.
DEVELOPING: The Rays try to rebound tonight from Friday’s sloppy 6-3 loss against the Astros, who lead the majors with 12 victories.
CF Kevin Kiermaier, who left Friday’s game after five innings because of an illness, is back in the lineup.
Blake Snell (0-2, 2.76) makes his fourth start of the season and is looking to pick up where he left off in his previous start, when he retired 10 of the last 11 batter he faced in Boston.
“I attacked the zone, threw a lot of strikes, made them put the ball in play. That is definitely what I liked most,” Snell said Friday.
And why did it take two innings before he stopped what he called “nitpicking?”
The Rays already beleaguered bullpen took another hit Friday with news that LHP Xavier Cedeno was placed on the 10-day DL with forearm tightness, though manager Kevin Cash said they don't believe it to be serious.
RHP Ryan Garton was called up from Triple-A, meaning the Rays won't have any lefties among the seven members of their bullpen. RHP Danny Farquhar is likely to be used against lefties because of the success of his changeup.
Cedeno has been largely ineffective this season, but had insisted he was healthy and it was just a matter of regaining command of his pitches.
But today's news proved otherwise, as the Rays now will wait to see how long he is out.
CF Kevin Kiermaier left Friday’s game after the fifth inning with an illness and not an injury, according to the team.
He had singled through the right side of the infield in the fifth for his only hit of the night.
Kiermaier made another defensive gem in the second inning when he raced to the wall in right-center field to make a leaping catch on a line drive by C Brian McCann. Kiermaier robbed McCann of extra-bases when he caught the ball in front of the screen.
Updating: On the injury front, RHP Jake Odorizzi (left hamstring strain) threw five pitches this afternoon off the bullpen mound and is scheduled to throw a full bullpen Saturday. He will know more about the timetable for his return after that.
OF Colby Rasmus (hip surgery) is on his way to Double A Montgomery to resume his minor league rehab assignment.
OF Mallex Smith (right hamstring strain) ran well today during pre-batting practice drills and is expected to begin his minor league rehab Sunday with Class A Charlotte.
SS Matt Duffy (Achilles) continues to progress and will travel with the Rays on the upcoming trip so he can continue his pre-BP work with the coaching staff.
Todd Kalas returns to the Trop this weekend as part of his new gig as TV play-by-play man for the Astros, so welcome back Todd!
The AL West-leading Astros (11-5) open a weekend series tonight against the good-luck-beating-them-at-the-Trop Rays (9-8), who are 8-2 under the dome after taking three straight from the Tigers earlier this week.
Rays Gold Glove CF Kevin Kiermaier shows off many of his talents - including his, well, not-quite- rapping skills - during an appearance on MLB Network's Play Ball show, which airs 10 a.m. Saturday
The weekly show features an MLB star providing advice to kids on playing the game, recalling their path to the majors and providing tips. Kiermaier is interviewed by MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds. the brother of agent Larry Reynolds, and Kiermaier's comfort is obvious in the interview, which was done at the University of Tampa.
Among the more interesting tidbits is that Kiermaier fancies himself as a pretty good shortstop: "I played shortstop all throughout high school and I can make all the spectacular plays and I struggle with the routine plays, that's why I ventured out back to centerfield. I like being in all the action. I feel like shortstop is a position where you can display all that."
Chris Archer heads to the dugout after retiring the Tigers in the third inning Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
In this episode of our Rays Tales podcast, Times beat writer Marc Topkin talks to the Rays' Chris Archer about Jackie Robinson and the number of black Americans playing baseball, longtime Yankees writer Mark Feinsand for a different perspective on the AL East as well as his new book, and reliever Tommy Hunter on going back to Baltimore to face his former Orioles teammates.
A double by the Rays' Corey Dickerson drops in the middle of the Detroit Tigers outfield during the first inning Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus reiterated this morning that a misplay in the outfield during Wednesday's game, where a ball dropped between CF JaCoby Jones, 2B Ian Kinsler and RF Tyler Collins was due to a fan in the stands at the Trop.
Ausmus said the fan yelled, "I got it,' which led to Kinsler and the outfielders backing off on the third inning ball hit by Brad Miller that dropped in for a single.
"The acoustics helped ... and the fact that there were not a huge number of people sitting in stands,'' Ausmus said.
Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, such as like when Alex Rodriguez did so during a game in Toronto.
"Never heard of a fan doing it,'' Ausmus said. "I'm not blaming the fan, he's within his rights. ... We have to make the adjustment.''
But he did make it clear he felt the rather, um, intimate setting at the Trop, with an announced crowd of 12,281, contributed.
"Most of the time when you have a decent size crowd it’s all kind of white noise, all the noise kind of mixes together and nothing really stands out,’’ Ausmus said.
Obviously his acknowledgment that a fan influenced play may lead to more fans trying to do to.
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