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Aug. 5 Rays/Twins preview

The Tampa Bay Rays are back in action tonight, starting a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins that will wrap up this homestead at Tropicana Field. The Rays and Twins own the two worst records in the American League, with the Rays slightly better (44-63) than the Twins (43-65).

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Here are tonight’s lineups:

Rays

Logan Forsythe – 2B

Kevin Kiermaier – CF

Evan Longoria – 3B

Brad Miller – DH

Nick Franklin – 1B

Corey Dickerson – LF

Steven Souza, Jr. – RF

Tim Beckham – SS

Luke Maile – C

Twins

Brian Dozier – 2B

Joe Mauer – 1B

Max Kepler – RF

Miguel Sano – DH

Kurt Suzuki – C

Robbie Grossman – LF

Eduardo Escobar – SS

Jorge Polanco – 3B

Bryon Buxton – CF

On the mound

Rays: Rookie southpaw Blake Snell makes his 10th start looking for his fourth win which would even his record and give him three-straight wins. In July, Snell led rookie pitchers with 33 strikeouts and has allowed just two homers in 49.2 innings pitched.

Twins: Ervin Santana gets the start looking to pick up his fifth win. He owns a 3.66 ERA and last pitched July 30 when he gave up three runs on six hits over six inning vs. the Chicago White Sox. Tonight will be his 17th start vs. Tampa Bay and he is 6-7 all time vs. the Rays.

Double team

Longoria and Miller have 23 and 19 homers, respectively. The Rays haven’t had a pair of teammates with 20-homer seasons since 2012 when Melvin Upton, Jr. (28) and Ben Zobrist (20) did it.

Good Move

Kiermaier has officially taken ownership of the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Since being moved there the past three games, KK has provided a spark in the offense and gone 4-for-11 with four runs, a homer and four walks.

“I want to hit behind Logan Forsythe and in front of Longo,” Kiermaier said Tuesday night, the first time he was moved to the No. 2 spot.

Transition begins

Prior to the game, Miller worked on some first base fielding with bench coach Dave Foley. Manager Kevin Cash said Miller, who has homered in the past two games, does not have a timetable for when Miller will make his first-base debut.

Streaking along

The Rays have allowed three or fewer runs in 10 consecutive games, giving them the longest such streak in the majors this season. In fact, with a win tonight, the Rays can grab their first winning homestead this season. The Rays are 10-9 since the All-Star Break.

Injury update

RHP Alex Cobb threw three innings for the Charlotte StoneCrabs on Thursday, allowing three hits and a run with two strikeouts on 41 pitches. … OF Mikie Mattock went 1-for-3 last night for Charlotte and will also play tonight.

Miscellaneous 

The Rays took three of four games from the Twins at Target Field in June and with a win tonight, the Rays can take the season series with the Twins for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. The Rays are 32-15 in that stretch.

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