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Rays rule Kiermaier, Zunino out for season with injuries

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Jun 5, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino (10) is congratulated by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in the sixth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE -- Tampa Bay Rays standouts Kevin Kiermaier and Mike Zunino are out for the season because of injuries, another significant blow for the defending AL East champions.

Manager Kevin Cash said that Kiermaier is having an operation in the coming weeks. The 32-year-old outfielder hasn’t played since July 9 because of a left hip injury, and Kiermaier said earlier this month that he might miss the rest of the regular season.

Zunino, a 31-year-old catcher, hasn’t played since June 9 because of left shoulder problems. He’s out for the season because of thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, according to a team spokesman.

In addition to missing Kiermaier and Zunino, the Rays are also without Wander Franco, Nick Anderson, Shane Baz, Tyler Glasnow, Manuel Margot and several others who are on the injured list. Brandon Lowe recently returned after missing two months.

Kiermaier, a three-time Gold Glove winner, has hit .228 with seven home runs, 22 RBIs and six steals this year. Cash indicated that his operation would be to fix the labrum.

“He’s been playing with it, and the doctor basically said years ago that you play through it until you can’t,” Cash said. “Well, we got to the point where he couldn’t.”

Kiermaier is on the 60-day IL and wasn’t eligible to return until September. Zunino was eligible to come back next month.

Zunino was an All-Star last year, when he hit a career-high 33 home runs. He’s hit .148 with five homers in 36 games this season.