The Boston Red Sox are back home and look to get on track when they open a three-game series versus the Tampa Bay Rays with a doubleheader at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox went 3-4 on a recent trip through Tampa Bay and Baltimore, and lost three of four matchups with the Orioles at Camden Yards.
In a 6-3 loss Sunday, Jon Lester was tagged for nine hits and five runs over five full frames to suffer the loss. The lefty did strike out eight and did not issue a walk.
"This team counts on me to throw innings," Lester said. "I have not done that. I need to do a better job going deeper into the game."
Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run homer for the Red Sox, who lead the AL East by two games ahead of Baltimore and are three games in front of New York. The Rays are five games off the pace in the division.
Boston will send Felix Doubront to the mound in the first game and he is 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) this season. He owns a 2-1 mark and a 3.86 ERA in eight career games (5 starts) against the Rays.
Taking the mound for the BoSox in Game 2 will be Alfredo Aceves. Aceves is 3-1 with a 5.58 ERA in eight games (5 starts) this season and 2-0 in his previous three trips to the mound. The right-hander has faced Tampa Bay 20 times (1 start) in his career, going 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA.
The Rays will begin a stretch of 10 straight games against AL East foes and have lost six of eight games, including three of four versus Kansas City.
In Sunday's 5-3 loss at Tropicana Field, Jose Lobaton hit a solo homer, while Luke Scott and Desmond Jennings drove in one run apiece.
Rays starter Roberto Hernandez gave up four runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"Not as sharp as he had been, but I thought he was good enough to win," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of his starter.
Tampa Bay will begin a seven-game road trip Tuesday against the Red Sox and Yankees and will turn to Chris Archer in the opener of this twinbill. Archer is 1-2 with a 4.80 ERA in three starts this season and is 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA in two career starts against the Red Sox.
Archer lost to the Red Sox last Wednesday in a 2-1 defeat and gave up both runs in four innings of work.
Jake Odorizzi gets the call in the nightcap and has no record and an 8.03 earned run average in three games, two of which have been starts, this season. The right-hander has never faced Boston in his career.