Luis Patino on the mound

Luis Patino said launching a day earlier than expected wouldn’t impact his outing tonight against the Tigers.

The Rays moved Patino’s start from Saturday to Friday to fill a vacant spot in the rotation, but the 21-year-old right-hander said having the usual four days off since his last outing doesn’t make it a big deal. .

Another factor is that Patino will face the Tigers for the second time in a row, having worked 4-1 / 3 innings against them on Sunday in Detroit.

“I think facing them for the first time gives me the opportunity to be able to learn from them,” Patino said Thursday via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “They have good hitters, smart, smart hitters. Also, I saw them and they saw me too, so as long as I prepare well I think everything will be fine.

As expected, the Rays are without designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who is still in pain from being hit in the right forearm by a pitch Thursday. Manager Kevin Cash has said Cruz will be on treatment much of the day and night and should be available if needed to pinch him, with the hope that he can return to the roster on Saturday.

Cash also said it was another encouraging rehab day for Wander Franco, as the rookie shortstop sidelined by right hamstring strain ran arcs to the edge of the outfield, a took swings on the field before batting practice and sent balls to the ground hit him. . He’s on track to come back next week.

The Rays come into play today with a magic number of 7 to clinch a third straight playoff spot and 8 to win a second straight AL East title and fourth in 14 years. Their first possible win date, by MLB, is Monday.

Here’s the Rays lineup, with Austin Meadows an RBI under 100:

And for the Tigers:

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