After dropping the first two games against Cleveland, the Red Sox offense would wake up and storm back to split the four game series. David Price absolutely dominated on Thursday throwing 8 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts. Price is now 16-2 in his last 18 starts. Boston will now go face the Rays at the Trop.
The first game in this series will most likely consist of Hector Velazguez starting once again with Sale being out. Velazguez has been a good reliable option to give you 3, 4 or 5 innings and handing it off to the bullpen. As far as the Rays go, they don’t have any scheduled starters for this series. As we all know they’ve been doing that bullpen game situation all year, so it will be interesting to see how Kevin Cash will match up against our starters this weekend at the Trop.
Rick Porcello will toe the rubber on Saturday night. Porcello has a career 3.44 ERA against the Rays with 155 strikeouts and a 1.18 WHIP. Porcello has also pitched to a career 2.72 ERA with 80 Ks and a 1.12 WHIP at Tropicana. He has had overall success against the Rays lineup throughout the years and there are no signs of this changing.
The matinee game will take place on Sunday with Nathan Eovaldi on the bump. Eovaldi has only pitched a career 24.2 innings against the Rays in 4 starts. He has a 4.01 ERA with 24 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP in those 4 starts. Before Nathan Eovaldi played for the Red Sox, he in fact played for the Rays, meaning he started several games at Tropicana field as part of the home squad. Overall, he owns a 2.97 ERA at the Trop. Even though he didn’t face the Rays lineup much there, its still good to see his success in that ballpark.
The Red Sox have not struggled against the Rays this season unlike some other team in the AL East..(Yankees cough cough) Boston is 11-5 against the Rays this season, with 5 of those wins coming at the Trop in the 7 games they’ve played there. The last time the Red Sox were in Tampa, Hanley was on this team. Thats pretty crazy to think. This will be the last time the Red Sox visit the Rays this season and the last time the two meet in general this year.