Rays at Red Sox: Lineup leans to the right

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Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
·2 min read
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The Rays have eight right-handed hitters in the lineup against Boston lefty Martin Perez for tonight’s game.

That includes infielder Kevin Padlo, who was called up for the first time Tuesday after centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier was placed on the injured list with a left quad strain. Also, the Rays have their top two catchers in the lineup, with Mike Zunino behind the plate and Francisco Mejia, a switch-hitter, at designated hitter.

The lone lefty is Brandon Lowe, hitting fifth.

“If we had another righty, he’d be playing,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ve seen Martin Perez quite a bit. He’s a good pitcher. Throws three different types of fastball with the two-seamer, the four-seamer and then the cutter. ... We feel like that’s our best chance, just to load up as many (right-handers) as possible and stick Brandon right in the middle right there to not allow him to get in a rhythm of getting too many righties in a row.”

After losing two straight and looking bad in doing so, allowing 23 runs and 30 hits in losses to the Marlins Saturday and the Red Sox Monday, the Rays feel good about having opening-day starter Tyler Glasnow on the mound.

Cash said he didn’t want to put any pressure on Glasnow, but top starters are the ones you count on to stop losing streaks.

“I think most of the frontline pitchers would say that, they take a lot of pride in that,” he said. “I don’t think we need to put any added pressure on Tyler — ‘Go, do what you did all spring and do what you did against the Marlins and we should be in a pretty good spot.’

“But theoretically speaking, yeah, that’s what the big boys of the rotation do. They don’t allow those long streaks, they kind of put the team on their back and find a way to get deep in a ballgame and give you every opportunity to win, and we envision Glasnow being fully capable of doing that.”

Also Tuesday:

Cash said lefty Cody Reed, the only pitcher the Rays have not used in the first four games, is “fine” and will be a big part of their bullpen this year.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And for the Red Sox, with former Ray and Hernando High product Christian Arroyo at the top:

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