(SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off his best start since joining the Boston Red Sox this past offseason, Rick Porcello tries to even his club's three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Porcello leveled his season record at 2-2 with a 5.34 earned run average on Wednesday as he held the Toronto Blue Jays to only one run and two hits over seven innings. He also walked two and fanned six in his longest outing since going eight frames in a win over Washington back on April 13.
"Rick went out and gave us exactly what we needed, seven strong innings," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
The right-hander had yielded 12 runs over 11 innings in consecutive outings against Baltimore prior to beating the Blue Jays and is 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA in seven career meetings with the Rays.
Tampa Bay's Drew Smyly will make his third start of the season, one that got off to a late start due to shoulder tendinitis.
The left-hander lasted 4 2/3 innings in his season debut on April 24 versus Toronto, then faced the New York Yankees on Wednesday. He picked up a second no-decision despite allowing only two runs -- both on solo homers -- over six innings while striking out 10 to just one walk.
Smyly has fanned 15 to just one walk over his first 10 2/3 innings and is 2-0 in five career meetings with the Red Sox, including three starts, with a 2.82 ERA.
The Rays won Monday night's opener 5-1 behind a solid effort on the mound by Jake Odorizzi, who held the Red Sox to one run -- an RBI triple by Xander Bogaerts in the second inning -- over seven frames with six strikeouts as Tampa Bay snapped a two-game slide.
Tampa Bay had already built a 4-0 lead before Boston got on the board, with Evan Longoria and David DeJesus driving in runs in the first and rookie Joey Butler hitting his first career homer, a two-run shot, in the second frame.
"It kind of took the crowd out of the game," Odorizzi said of the early lead. "They (the fans) were pretty quiet tonight."
Butler, the 12th different rookie to play for the Rays this season, joined the club on Sunday after outfielder Desmond Jennings was placed in the 15-day disabled list with a sore left knee.
Boston left Monday's opener with its own injury concern as outfielder Hanley Ramirez suffered a sprained left shoulder after crashing into the wall trying to make a catch in the first inning.
Ramirez, who is hitting .283 with 10 homers and 22 RBI on the season, was replaced by Allen Craig.
"He's day-to-day," Red Sox manager John Ferrell said of Ramirez going forward. "We're hopeful in the next couple of days there's some improvement."
Clay Buchholz overcame a slow start and pitched into the seventh but still suffered the loss. He struck out seven over 6 1/3 innings and was charged with five runs on nine hits in Boston's fourth consecutive loss and seventh in nine games.
The Rays won two of three at home over the Red Sox from April 21-23.