ST. PETERSBURG — The final time the Rays saw the Dodgers, Los Angeles was celebrating a 2020 Globe Series victory in Arlington, Texas, a neutral web page amid extreme pandemic restrictions.

They will meet once again on Friday, with the Rays obtaining the very best record (37-15) in the American League and the Dodgers second-very best (31-20, percentage points behind Atlanta) in the National League. It will be LA’s initially pay a visit to to Tropicana Field considering that 2019 and just their fifth general.

How major a deal that is depends on who you ask.

For Rays infielder Taylor Walls, it is nothing at all specific.

“I never know, they are just one more group, I guess,” he mentioned. “Honestly, I forgot we played them (this weekend) till you just described it. We just show up each and every day, appear at the job at hand, appear at the scouting report and attempt to place collectively a program to be profitable that day. And that is quite a great deal it.

“We never genuinely believe as well a great deal about specifically who we’re playing or what is going on about that or what the possibilities could possibly be in the future.”

Rays manager Kevin Money requires the ball from beginning pitcher Blake Snell (four) in the sixth inning of Game six of the 2020 Globe Series against the Dodgers.

[ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

For outfielder Randy Arozarena, who has been outstanding through the 2020 postseason, it is a reminder of a missed chance.

“I had a quite superior series,” he mentioned by way of group interpreter Manny Navarro, “but I wanted a Globe Series ring. I wanted to win it.”

In addition to, Arozarena pointed out, “it is a pretty unique group.”

“2020 was 2020 and is in the previous, but this is 2023,” he mentioned. “We’re attempting to get to the playoffs and we believe we can do that and (want to) play a superior series against them.”

For Rays manager Kevin Money — regardless of a six-game losing streak and questioning his selection to bench starter Blake Snell in Game six — it is a likelihood to appear back and laugh at highlights, such as a wild Game four victory by Brett Phillips.

“Good memories,” Money mentioned. “Exciting. Definitely we came up brief, but we genuinely appreciated it, seeking back on how exclusive that postseason was in 2020, acquiring to the Globe Series. Proud to be a aspect of that group. And I am certain the speak about that this weekend with (the Dodgers) coming in.”

Rice relief pitcher Calvin Faucher (58) pitches in the prime of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday at Tropicana Field.

[ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

The Rays continued to trade, recalling Calvin Faucher from Triple-A and activating left-hander Jake Diekman from the paternity list.

To make area, reliever Ben Heller and infielder Vidal Brujan, who had been named up Wednesday, elected to return to Durham.

Faucher produced the opening day roster, but was sent down on April 30 (right after compiling a six.43 ERA in eight games, enabling 16 hits and six walks in 14 innings) to get a job in bullpen sessions cleaning up what Money named “stupid superior”. Faucher played just 3 games for the Bulls, enabling 3 hits and 3 walks more than four-two/three innings. Thursday he did one particular eighth of the stroll.

“It really is nonetheless a function in progress,” Money mentioned just before the game. “He can genuinely aid us.” We just have to come across a way to get him in the zone a small far more regularly. But his stuff meshes genuinely properly with the back finish of our bullpen….his two breaking balls that he throws, and his fastball.”

Brujan was brought up as protection due to the uncertainty surrounding the availability of infielder Iandy Diaz due to loved ones difficulties. Diaz was back with the group Thursday and “completely accessible” if required, Money mentioned.

Dickman returned right after going dwelling to Nebraska on Monday for the birth of his daughter. He had a rough outing Thursday, getting into the ninth with a six-1 lead and enabling two one particular-out singles and a stroll to set up a save that Colin Poche, right after a bases-loaded stroll and sacrifice fly, converted.

Rice beginning pitcher Zach Eflin throws in the initially inning Thursday at Tropicana Field.

[ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Lefty Jalen Beeks will be Friday’s opener, and righty Cooper Criswell is anticipated to pitch major innings. … The Rays are the initially group with two games with seven steals in the similar season considering that the Astros in 1995. … As the Rays attempt to enhance and stabilize their bullpen, they have benefited from 4 seven-inning begins (two every single by Shane McClanahan and Zach Eflin) more than the previous seven games. … Eflin is six- with a two.19 ERA in six begins at the Trop. … On Thursday, there had been ten,736 spectators, a total of 40,198 in 4 games.

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