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Game Preview: Masahiro Tanaka vs Austin Pruitt

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The Rays hope to bounce back after a tough loss last night

MLB: New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

After last night’s just dumb loss to the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays will look to bounce back tonight as they’ll play in the second game of this four game set.

The loss put the Rays at 53-50 on the season, and three games back in the division, as well as a game and a half back in the Wild Card race. The New York Yankees meanwhile improved to 54-46, just a half game back of the Boston Red Sox in the division, but they also have a one game lead of the second Wild Card team.

A couple of story lines for tonight’s game will be the return of Austin Pruitt, who is making a spot start with Jake Odorizzi being placed on the DL. Also, Lucas Duda will be making his Rays debut as the starting first baseman. Logan Morrison has a bruised heel and will sit out tonight’s game.

Starting Pitchers

Austin Pruitt is making his return to the majors after being optioned a month ago. Pruitt has been up and down from the Rays a couple of times this season after breaking camp with the team on Opening Day. He has shown flashes of being a dependable arm for the Rays during his major league stints with the team.

Masahiro Tanaka has not been the ace the Yankees have seen the past couple of seasons. So far in 2017, his ERA has ballooned to 5.37 while his FIP is close behind at 4.90. He has already given up 26 home runs this season, surpassing his season high. It doesn’t matter what side the hitter is batting from as they’re having about equal success against him, it’s just been a rough year for Tanaka.

Starting Lineups

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS NEW YORK YANKEES
Mallex Smith - CF Brett Gardner - CF
Corey Dickerson - LF Clint Frazier - LF
Evan Longoria - 3B Aaron Judge - RF
Lucas Duda - 1B Gary Sanchez - C
Steven Souza - RF Didi Gregorius - SS
Brad Miller - DH Matt Holliday - DH
Wilson Ramos - C Chase Headley - 1B
Tim Beckham - 2B Todd Frazier - 3B
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Ronald Torreyes - 2B
Austin Pruitt - RHP Masahiro Tanaka - RHP