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Smyly hopes to finish off the Champs in finale v Royals.

It’s a soggy Thursday matinee in St. Petersburg, Florida between the Tampa Bay Rays (43-63) and the defending World Champion Kansas City Royals (51-56). The Rays trounced KC Wednesday night to the tune of a 12-0 shutout in which starter Jake Odorizzi extended his scoreless streak to 20.2 innings adding six more in the victory.

Thursday, the Rays would send lefty Drew Smyly to the hill to try and split the four-game series with the champs. Here’s the lineups for the 12:10 start:

Rays

2B Logan Forsythe
CF Kevin Kiermaier
3B Evan Longoria
SS Brad Miller
RF Steven Souza Jr
DH Corey Dickerson
LF Nick Franklin
1B Richie Shaffer
C Curt Casali

Royals

SS Alcides Escobar
3B Cheslor Cuthbert
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Kendrys Morales
C Salvador Perez
LF Alex Gordon
RF Paulo Orlando
CF Billy Burns
2B Christian Colon

Ian Kennedy takes the hill for the Royals looking for his seventh win of the season. KC is eight games out of a wild card birth in the American League.

PRE-GAME NOTES:

  • Ian Kennedy has allowed 26 HRs in 2016 which is tied for the most in the Majors with Toronto’s R.A. Dickey and fellow Royal teammate Chris Young.
  • Kennedy is 1-4 with a 5.40 ERA in seven starts v the Rays in his career. He won his last outing v TB, however, up in KC, 6-2, back on May 30.
  • Rays are 9-9 since the All Star Break. The pitching staff in that span have allowed 3 runs or fewer in six of the nine losses.
  • Rays Brad Miller’s 18 HR are a club record for a SS and are tied with TOR Troy Tulowitzki for 2nd among AL SS behind OAK Marcus Semien (22).

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