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American League Central

Rays holding their own with creative pitching approach

No team has gotten more innings from its starting pitchers this season than the Cleveland Indians. No team has gotten fewer than the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yet the Indians and Rays have ended up in a similar spot. Cleveland's team ERA is 3.84. Tampa Bay's is 3.82.

The Rays have been unorthodox in their approach , eschewing a normal starting rotation in favor of a system in which one of their usual relievers might take the mound at the beginning of a game. Right now, Tampa Bay's depth chart on MLB.com only lists three pitchers in the rotation — yet the Rays are 60-58 and have a chance for their first winning season since 2013.

Tampa Bay has tried using an "opener"...

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