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Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.

UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, while Willy Adames is on the bench so Adeiny Hechavarria can play short in potentially a showcase for teams the Rays may hope to interest in a trade.

Here is the Rays lineup:
Kiermaier cf
Duffy 3b
Bauers 1b
Ramos c
Wendle 2b
Cron dh
Smith lf
Gomez rf
Hechavarria ss
Snell p

And here is the Astros lineup, without Altuve:
Springer rf
Bregman 2b
Correa ss
Gurriel 3b
Gattis dh
Gonzalez lf
Stassi c
White 1b
Marisnick cf
Verlander p

DEVELOPING: After Monday's frustrating loss, the Rays take on the red-hot Astros again tonight in what should be a top-notch pitching matchup between LHP Blake Snell and RHP Justin Verlander.

"Two really talented pitchers at different points of their careers," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Verlander continues to enjoy a remarkable career renaissance  since being acquired last year from Detroit. Snell continues to emerge as a potential No. 1 starter for the Rays.

The Rays lineup will have a different look tonight, as CF Kevin Kiermaier returns from the disabled list for his first game action since April 15.

With Kiermaier back in center, Mallex Smith presumably will move to leftfield and share time Johnny Field.

In other Rays news:

* Two-way prospect LHP/1B Brendan McKay was placed on the Stone Crabs DL with what is being called right oblique tightness and is expected to miss about three weeks.

* C Wilson Ramos moved into the top spot in the voting for the starting spot on the AL All-Star team, though several weeks of balloting remain.

The Astros are going for a team-record 13th straight win.

Lineups when available.

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