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The Rays go into play against the Red Sox tonight sharing the best record in the majors with the Giants at 84-48 and holding an eight-game AL East lead over the Yankees.
The Red Sox have been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 cases that have sidelined eight players, but they do have ace lefty Chris Sale on the mound tonight. Sale has made three starts since returning last month from Tommy John surgery and has won them all, allowing just four earned runs.
Rays manager Kevin Cash went as right-handed as he could in cobbling together a lineup to face Sale, using just one lefty-only hitter, third baseman Joey Wendle, along with six right-handers and two switch-hitters.
One of those is infielder Taylor Walls, who was called back up with rosters expanding from 26 to 28 and will start at second base.
Sale, from Lakeland, has pitched well against the Rays, going 10-6, 2.94 in 20 career games with 179 strikeouts in 122-1/3 innings and 5-3, 2.01 in 11 games at Tropicana Field with 108 strikeouts in 71-2/3 innings.
Drew Rasmussen will be on the mound for the Rays, making his fourth start (and second against the Red Sox) since moving into the rotation.
The Sox added two more players to the COVID-19-related injured list today, infielders Xander Bogaerts (who was pulled from Tuesday’s game when the team got word of his positive test) and Yairo Munoz.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And for the Red Sox:
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