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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m.

"I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "And rather than keep us out here until all hours of the night, just go ahead and cancel the game.''

Both teams pushed their scheduled starters back a day, which means longtime Ray Alex Cobb will take the mound Wednesday night in Orioles orange to face his ex-mates. Jake Faria will start for the Rays.

Cash said the Rays would consider pitching Chris Archer Wednesday on his scheduled fifth day, but decided to push him back to Thursday. That rain is a possibility again on Wednesday may also have been a factor.

The postponement allows the Rays to eliminate a "Bullpen Day" start planned for Thursday, though creates the need for one on Sunday in Boston. LHP Blake Snell and RHP Yonny Chirinos are set for the first two games of that series.

Tuesday's game will be made up on the Rays next visit, as part of a one-admission doubleheader on Saturday, May 12, starting at 3:05. That's the first stop in what now will be an 11-game, 10-day trek to Baltimore, Kansas City and Anaheim, Calif, and the beginning of a stretch of 40 games in 41 days.

Medical matters

INF Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) had what Cash called "a really good workday" Tuesday, with plans to play in a simulated game Wednesday in Port Charlotte with a plan to advance to a rehab game with either the Class A Stone Crabs or Triple-A Durham Bulls on Thursday. Duffy is eligible to return Friday. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi continued his rapid recovery from March 30 surgery to remove pieces of loose cartilage from his elbow, throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session at the Trop. "Pretty remarkable, but knowing him not surprising,'' Cash said. "That's great. We've got to do a good job of managing him simply because he's so eager to get back, and he puts a lot of pressure on himself and his rehab.''

Quote of the day

"An ultimate competitor. Definitely wouldn't talk to him on his start days. So I thought about maybe texting him or something just to rattle him a little bit. It's definitely going to be weird.''
– INF Brad Miller, on facing ex-mate RHP Alex Cobb, who is starting for Baltimore.

Such a deal

The Rays offer the second best prices in baseball based on The Marketing Report Fan Index. Based on the cost for a family of four to attend a game – calculated  by "four average weighted non-premium tickets combined with four sodas, four hot dogs, two beers and two souvenir caps, plus a parking spot" – the Rays came in at $156.40. Only Arizona, at $145.58 was cheaper. Per TMR, the most expensive are the Cubs ($368.28), Red Sox ($345.88) and Yankees ($301.46).

Number of the day

4
Former pitchers Rays have faced in their first 22 games with Alex Cobb starting for Baltimore, having lost games started by David Price (twice), James Shields and Matt Moore, who combined for a 0.33 ERA.

Miscellany

* The Rays have scored eight or more runs in three consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 14-16, 2016, (Yankees, Padres). They have never done it four straight.

* Game-used No. 42 jerseys from Jackie Robinson Day are available for purchase at raysbaseball.com/auctions.

*  The Rays have won four straight; the longest winning streak under fourth-year manager Kevin Cash is five.

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