tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
  • Home
Tampa Bay Rays

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the road since 2014, at Minnesota and St. Louis, and of three or more games on the same trip since April 12-19, 2010, at Baltimore and Boston.

UPDATE, 2:24: Cash made clear the Rays plan to continue using relievers as game "openers" in the right matchup situations, and mentioned LHP Jonny Venters as another option besides Romo, as well as potentially others. … Cash said the Rays watched a lot of video on Ohtani and are ready to face him. .. Between questions on Ohtani and Romo, Cash's pregame media session went nearly 12 minutes, potentially a season high. …

Here is the Angels lineup, without Pujols.

Kinsler 2b
Trout dh
Upton lf
Simmons ss
Cozart 3b
Marte 1b
Maldonado c
Young cf
Hermosillo rf
Ohtani p

DEVELOPING: The Rays were so pleased with how their Saturday night experiment went with veteran reliever RHP Sergio Romo pitching the first inning – as "the opener" – before giving way to LHP Ryan Yarbrough that they are going to do it again today.

That's right, Romo – who struck out the three righthanders at the top of the Angels order – will start again today, with the Rays expected to either go next to LHP Anthony Banda or one of several righthanded relievers, taking advantage of Monday being an off-day.

Romo will be the first major-league pitcher to start on consecutive days since Zack Greinke did for Milwaukee on July 7-8, 2012, but that comes with an asterisk.

Greinke was ejected after four pitches for spiking the ball after he didn't like the call at first base. (Greinke actually started three straight games for the Brewers as the 8th was the last day before the All-Star break and he started the first one after it.)

Under similar circumstances, it will be only the second time in the Rays' 21-season history that a pitcher started in consecutive games, as RHP James Shields in 2009 started the last game before the break and the first after.

It also will be the second time a Rays pitcher starts on 0 days rest, as last year RHP Erasmo Ramirez pitched the 15th inning in a game at Minnesota and started as planned the next night in Texas, though it didn't go well.

Meanwhile the Rays, back at .500 (22-22) and on a six-game winning streak, will have to face Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, who makes his seventh start of the season.

Romo, who threw 18 pitches on Saturday, could be used into the second depending on the score. The Rays took him out after one Saturday since they had a 4-0 lead.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Span lf
Cron dh
Wendle 2b
Ramos c
Miller 1b
Duffy 3b
Smith cf
Robertson ss
Field rf
Romo p

Weather Center