Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG — The final time the Rays saw the Dodgers, Los Angeles was celebrating its victory in the 2020 Globe Series in Arlington, Texas, the neutral website amid serious pandemic restrictions.

Friday, they will meet once more, with the Rays in possession of the very best record (37-15) in the American League and the Dodgers the second-very best (31-20, percentage points behind Atlanta) in the National League. It will be L.A.’s initially pay a visit to to Tropicana Field because 2019 and just its fifth general.

How major a deal it is depends on whom you ask.

To Rays infielder Taylor Walls, it is nothing at all unique.

“I do not know, they’re just an additional group, I guess,” he mentioned. “I honestly forgot we played them (this weekend) till you just talked about it. We just show up just about every day, appear at the job at hand, appear at the scouting report and attempt to place with each other a strategy to be thriving that day. And that is fairly significantly it.

“We do not definitely place as well significantly believed into precisely who we’re playing or the hype about it or what the possibilities could be in the future.”

Rays manager Kevin Money requires the ball from beginning pitcher Blake Snell (four) in the sixth inning of Game six of the 2020 Globe Series against the Dodgers.

[ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

To outfielder Randy Arozarena, who had a breakout functionality for the duration of the 2020 postseason, it is a reminder of a missed chance.

“I had a fairly excellent Series,” he mentioned by way of group interpreter Manny Navarro, “but I wanted the Globe Series ring. I wanted to win it.”

Plus, Arozarena pointed out, “it’s a really diverse group.”

“2020 was 2020 and it is in the previous, but this is year 2023,” he mentioned. “We’re attempting to get to the playoffs and we assume we can do it, and (want to) play a excellent series against them.”

To Rays manager Kevin Money — in spite of the six-game loss and scrutiny of his choice to take out starter Blake Snell in Game six — it is a possibility to appear back and smile at the highlights, which includes the wild Game four win sparked by Brett Phillips.

“Great memories,” Money mentioned. “A lot of enjoyable. Naturally, we came up quick, but definitely appreciated that, hunting back how special that 2020 postseason was, finding to the Globe Series. Proud of that, to be a aspect of that group. And I’m positive it will be talked about more than this weekend with (the Dodgers) coming in.”

Rays relief pitcher Calvin Faucher (58) pitches in the best of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday at Tropicana Field.

[ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

The Rays continued their bullpen shuffle, recalling Calvin Faucher from Triple-A and activating left-hander Jake Diekman from the paternity list.

To make area, reliever Ben Heller and infielder Vidal Brujan, who had been known as up Wednesday, had been optioned back to Durham.

Faucher created the opening-day roster but was sent down April 30 (following compiling a six.43 ERA in eight games, permitting 16 hits and six walks in 14 innings) to get perform in bullpen sessions refining what Money known as “stupid good” stuff. Faucher pitched in only 3 games for the Bulls, permitting 3 hits and 3 walks more than four-two/three innings. Thursday, he worked a a single-stroll eighth.

“It’s nonetheless a perform in progress,” Money mentioned prior to the game. “He can definitely enable us. We’ve just got to come across a way to get him in the zone a tiny bit a lot more regularly. But his stuff fits definitely properly with the back finish of our bullpen …. his two breaking balls that he throws, and the fastball.”

Brujan was brought up as a hedge offered uncertainty more than the availability of corner infielder Yandy Diaz due to a household matter. Diaz was back with the group Thursday and “totally available” if necessary, Money mentioned.

Diekman returned following going house to Nebraska for the birth of a daughter on Monday. He had a rough outing Thursday, coming in for the ninth with a six-1 lead and permitting two a single-out singles and a stroll to generate a save circumstance that Colin Poche, following a bases-loaded stroll and a sacrifice fly, converted.

Rays beginning pitcher Zach Eflin pitches in the initially inning Thursday at Tropicana Field.

[ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Lefty Jalen Beeks will be the opener Friday, with proper-hander Cooper Criswell anticipated to perform bulk innings. … The Rays are the initially group with two seven-steal games in the similar season because the 1995 Astros. … As the Rays attempt to strengthen and stabilize their bullpen, they’ve benefited from 4 seven-inning begins (two every by Shane McClanahan and Zach Eflin) more than their final seven games. … Eflin is six- with a two.19 ERA in six begins at the Trop. … Attendance was ten,736 Thursday, for a 4-game total of 40,198.

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