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Sept. 20 Rays vs. Yankees preview

And we’re back at Tropicana Field again as the Tampa Bay Rays hit the home stretch of this forgettable 2016 season and open up their final homestand here in St. Petersburg. It’s just six games and starts with hosting the New York Yankees through Thursday. The Yankees have lost seven of their last eight, including a four-game sweep at Boston, while the Rays went 4-3 in seven games combined at Toronto and Baltimore, respectively.

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Here are tonight’s lineups:

Rays

2B – Logan Forsythe

CF – Kevin Kiermaier

3B – Evan Longoria

1B – Brad Miller

LF – Corey Dickerson

RF – Mikie Mahtook

SS – Alexei Ramirez

DH – Richie Shaffer

C – Bobby Wilson

Yankees

LF – Brett Gardner

RF – Aaron Hicks

C – Gary Sanchez

DH – Billy Butler

1B – Mark Teixeira

SS – Didi Gregorius

2B – Ronald Torreyes

3B – Donovan Solano

CF – Mason Williams

On the mound

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11, 4.98) will make his 29th start of the season tonight and is coming off his seventh win after pitching 5.2 innings vs. Toronto last Tuesday. Smyly is 5-0 in his last 10 starts, however, needed a bounce back after appearing in his shortest outing of the season: 3.2 innings vs. Baltimore on Sept. 7 when he gave up four runs on five hits. This season, Smyly is posting career highs in starts (28) and innings pitched (164.1).

Yankees: Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.94) will make his 30th start of the season and it comes on five days’ rest due to the off day Monday. Pineda has pitched less than five innings in his last three starts and is winless in his last seven. He is 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA in that stretch. Pineda last pitched Wednesday, throwing four scoreless innings in a loss to the Dodgers. Pineda has 184 strikeouts this season, the most by a Yankees righty since A.J. Burnett (195) in 2009.

Franklin nursing strain

On Monday, INF Nick Franklin underwent a MRI that showed he had a moderate strain in his left hamstring. With just 13 games remaining, the Rays have not indicated ending his season, but Franklin said prior to Tuesday’s game his hope is to play during the final weekend of the season and finish on a healthy note.

Souza, Morrison surgeries set

On Wednesday in Nashville, OF Steven Souza, Jr. will have season-ending surgery on his left hip and is set to be preformed by Dr. Thomas Bryd. Also Wednesday, 1B Logan Morrison is set to have season-ending surgery on his left wrist, performed by Dr. Tom Graham in Orlando.

Up next

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Alex Cobb (1-0, 3.06) vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka (13-4, 2.97)

Thursday, 7:10 p.m.: LHP Blake Snell (5-8, 3.87) vs. RHP Luis Cessa (4-2, 4.44)

Follow Mike on Twitter.

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