Saturday, April 16, 2016

Rays' Ramirez set for starting debut vs. Danks, White Sox

Rays right-hander Erasmo Ramirez will make his first start of the season Saturday when Tampa Bay hosts the Chicago White Sox at 6:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field.
The Rays opted for a four-man rotation, which included right-handers Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi and lefties Matt Moore and Drew Smyly, through the season's first 10 games. Ramirez posted an 11-6 record with a 3.75 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 34 appearances (27 starts) for Tampa Bay last season. He has made three appearances from the bullpen this year, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings.
Left-hander John Danks will take the mound for the White Sox, as he looks to rebound from his rough debut against the Indians last Friday at U.S. Cellular Field. He allowed seven runs (five earned) and eight hits in five innings in a 7-1 loss. He has lost eight of nine decisions dating back to last August.
Things to know about this game
• It will be interesting to see how Ramirez handles his first start of the year. His move to the bullpen was somewhat of a surprise, given that he asserted himself as one of the Rays' top arms last season. Still, Tampa Bay already has had two off-days and a postponement last Saturday in Baltimore due to inclement weather, so the bullpen assignment was logical.
• Danks has enjoyed success against Evan Longoria in their previous meetings. Longoria is 4-for-25 with one RBI and seven strikeouts against the left-hander.
• The White Sox early schedule includes plenty of time of the road. Seventeen of their first 27 games are away from U.S. Cellular Field, and 33 of their first 42 contests are outside the American League Central.

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