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October 4, 2023

Kevin Cash

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Tropicana Field

Tampa Bay Rays

Pregame Press Conference

Q. Kevin, just the one lineup decision. With José Siri not in there, what was the thought process?

KEVIN CASH: If they were fortunate enough to be him on the roster, I think with Montgomery, the lefty, penciled in to go in Game 1, we didn't want to push it with José to play 18 straight innings there. He could be a factor off the bench, no doubt. And then hopefully we're talking about a lineup discussion tomorrow whether he's in or out.

Q. Just offensively what do you think it's going to take to get the group going? Obviously the postseason struggles this year and last are pretty well documented at this point.

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, I don't know if I have the best answer. I think what we've done all season long, it's kind of been led by the guys up top. Yandy and Harold have some good at-bats, nice to have J Lowe in there. He's been swinging the bat really well. And we saw yesterday from Randy, he's got a knack for dialing it up. Special player in these moments. So if we can kind of rally around him a little bit, it would be nice.

I'm pretty confident that we'll have some good at-bats, and we've got the right guy on the mound in Zach that can maybe buy our offense a little bit of time, but ideally let's score some runs early.

Q. Did you have the chance to talk with the players about last night's game?

KEVIN CASH: I didn't have a chance. I wouldn't do that normally. That's just not how it goes.

Our players, they're really good players. They're very mindful and aware of the circumstances, how we got there, what we didn't do well, what we did well.

I don't think they need reminders from me. This is a pretty relaxed group. I'm very happy with the way they've come in today into the clubhouse. They seem to be more focused on playing ping-pong than they do watching MLB Network, so that's a good thing.

Q. How well suited is Zach to pitch in a game like this with the season on the line?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, I don't want to put added pressure on Zach and I don't know if I could. But for all the great pitchers that have come through this organization, I feel like his mindset, his stuff, it's very similar to kind of Charlie Morton when we had him. He just has a very calm presence out on the mound. So I think he's very well suited, and we're fortunate to be able to have a guy like that on the mound to pitch in a game of this magnitude.

Q. Obviously yesterday was the kind of game that you don't typically play. What do you guys pride yourselves on, and what do you hope to get back to today? What would a typical Rays outing that you're proud of look like?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, catching the ball, getting ahead of hitters, executing, throwing a lot of strikes, preventing runs. We did not prevent runs. I felt like we -- certainly they beat us. We gave them some extra outs, and they're a good team. And if a team gives us extra outs, I expect we're going to take advantage of it. And then those timely hits.

But the first two, securing the baseball when outs are made, make sure you convert them, and then throwing early strikes.

Q. Civale was in here as a potential Game 3 starter. Why would he be the right starter for you in that game?

KEVIN CASH: Well, he's a guy that has come over here since the acquisition, and he's done some good things for us. As far as how he matches up with this Texas lineup, with the switch hitters and the lefties, he can pitch at the top of the zone or he likes to pitch at the top of the zone. He's got the separator in the big curveball and he can rely on cutters to cut the ball in on guys. If we're fortunate enough to get to that point, I'm very confident that we will have an all-hands-on-deck approach. But if he gets the ball, that would be great, and see if he can get on a good run.

Q. To go back to yesterday, what did you think of that moment of Randy and his mom --

KEVIN CASH: That was pretty special. I actually knew about that the other day. I don't think Randy told some of his family that lived here that she was coming, but really cool. Randy was excited about it. I'm glad she got to see him do his thing.

I don't think any of us can really appreciate what Randy has gone through. Look, we've got four Cuban-born players playing here on a big stage, and they're all playing massive roles for their teams. I bet it was special for all of them. She had a good arm, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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