Rays Make History-Wildcard Race Continues

Tampa continues to lead the sports world when it comes to celebrating diversity.

Just 16 months ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning became the first NHL team to start a forward line with three African-American players. Mathieu Joseph, Gemel Smith, and Daniel Walcott in a 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers.

On September 15, as Major League Baseball honored Roberto Clemente, the Rays honored Clemente by being the first MLB to start a team made up of all Latino players in their 11-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena from Cuba, Wander Franco, Manuel Margot, Jose Siri from the Dominican Republic, Harold Ramirez from Colombia, David Peralta and Rene Pinto from Venezuela, and Isaac Paredes from Mexico.

All eight position players have contributed in some form this season to the success of the Rays. So this was not some token act where call-ups were made from the farm system to make this happen.

Manager Kevin Cash said it was a mere coincidence that the lineup consisted of all Latin players than something that was planned.

Cash talked about the history-making lineup. “It just worked out that they were all of the Latin background. That’s pretty cool, though. I’m shocked that that has never been done in baseball.”

Harold Ramirez talked about the significance of the lineup and what Clemente means to the Latino baseball community. “It’s a very important day for us because he’s special for every Latin guy. He’s like Jackie Robinson for us.”

The Rays have 12 Latin players on the roster, all position players.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were the first to field a lineup of all African-American players. That milestone occurred on September 1, 1971.

—The Rays continue to be hot and cold down the stretch as they battle the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays for wild card positioning.

The Rays just came off a road trip where they went 3-5 against the Yankees and Blue Jays.

The Rays are back at Tropicana Field in the middle of a nine-game home stand against Texas, Houston, and another series with Toronto.

The Rays lost the first game of the series with the Rangers 4-3, as the bats went cold, then rebounded with a strong performance by six members of the bullpen beating the Rangers 5-1 without Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena in the lineup.

Drew Rasmussen will pitch for the Rays in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

—Brandon Lowe, currently on the IR, will get another opinion on his ailing back. The Rays are hoping that he can return this season.

—Tyler Glasnow will make his third rehab start on Sunday at Durham.

—The Rays still do not have a player with 20 home runs. Isaac Parades, and Randy Arozarena are close as they are both knocking on the door with 19.

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