Dan Johnson’s game-tying homer Wednesday saved the Rays’ season, but it didn’t land him a spot on the playoff roster.
Instead the Rays opted to keep three catchers and utility man Elliot Johnson over Dan Johnson and Justin Ruggiano.
Jeff Niemann is also absent from the playoff roster despite going 11-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 23 starts and the Rays chose J.P. Howell over Cesar Ramos as a left-hander for the bullpen.
Tampa Bay also announced that Wade Davis, who started 29 games and logged 184 innings, will work out of the bullpen. Matt Moore, who’s been in the majors for two weeks, will start Game 1 against Texas.
Pirates prospect shortstop Cole Tucker stepped up for an injured Erik González on Saturday and wasted little time proving that he was ready to shoulder major-league responsibilities. After starting the game 0-for-2, Tucker pounced on Derek Holland‘s 2-2 sinker and sent it out to center field for a two-run shot in the fifth inning.
Following the tie-breaking blast, Tucker responded to cheers from the crowd with… perhaps a little more ceremony than the occasion required. He was the second of the Pirates’ prospects to record his first major-league hit during the game, as outfielder Bryan Reynolds also hit a single off of Holland in the fourth.
Jung Ho Kang struck out to end the inning, after which a rain delay was called. The Pirates currently lead the Giants 3-1.