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Rays not altering plan vs. first-time pitcher

Rays not altering plan vs. first-time pitcher

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays were tasked with facing an unfamiliar starting pitcher Saturday in Jake Buchanan, who was promoted from Triple-A to make his Major League debut. Buchanan was a late replacement for Brad Peacock, who was scratched from the start Friday night.

"We have some stuff -- the velocity, break on the breaking ball, that kind of thing," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said of the rookie right-hander. "But of course, you've got to go out there and see him for the first time. I just saw our workup on him before I walked downstairs. We'll see how we play.

"When we meet these guys for the first time, I oftentimes believe the pitcher, if he can go out there with composure and command, may have a little bit of an advantage the first time through the batting order. Then we'll see what happens after that."

Maddon also said the Rays did not have to make any last-minute changes in their gameplan to adjust for the new pitcher.

The Rays have struggled against starters making their debut -- they have lost eight of their past 10 games against first-time pitchers. Six of those pitchers have allowed one earned run or fewer, including Houston's Jarred Cosart, who beat the Rays both on Friday and in his Major League debut last season.

David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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