American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 17th (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (17-20) at Tampa Bay Rays (24-14), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Felix Doubront (3-1, 4.46) Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (1-3, 5.31)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays aim for a second straight two-game sweep tonight versus the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay is tied with Baltimore atop the American League East standings and swept Toronto in two games before handing the Red Sox a 2-1 loss last night. Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson improved to 4-0 on the season after he held Boston to a run in six innings, while Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney kept the opposition off the board the rest of the way.
"The last time I came in for a game for Hellickson, I blew it," Peralta said. "I blew his outing, I lost the game, the team lost the game. So tonight was more about I've got to do it for him and the team."
Rodney nailed down his 12th save in the process.
Luke Scott's sacrifice fly in the sixth inning was the difference, while Carlos Pena posted two hits and scored a run for the Rays, who have won four in a row and opened an eight-game homestand on a high note.
Tampa Bay had a scare when second baseman Will Rhymes fainted near first base after being hit on the right forearm by a pitch in the eighth inning. Rhymes came to, but left the game and has a right forearm contusion. He is day-to-day and X-rays were negative.
"He started walking around and you could see him start getting dizzy, start sweating a little bit," said Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Matt Moore will try to pitch the Rays to a sweep of the Red Sox when he takes the mound this evening. Moore, though, has dropped back-to-back trips to the hill and is only 1-3 with a 5.31 ERA in seven starts. He lost to Boston at Fenway Park on April 15, when he allowed six runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 frames in a 6-4 setback. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career games (1 start) in this series.
Boston had its five-game winning streak come to an end last night, as starter Clay Buchholz was dealt the loss for giving up both runs and six hits in five innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
"I thought Buchholz was outstanding for them tonight," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "Of course, Jeremy matched him pitch for pitch. It was just a great baseball game. Nobody wanted to give it up."
Daniel Nava drove in the lone run and both Mike Aviles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia finished with two hits for the Red Sox, who started an eight- game road trip in losing fashion. Saltalamacchia has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 starts.
Felix Doubront will handle pitching duties for the Red Sox tonight and he has won two straight and three of four starts since beginning the year with three straight no-decisions. Doubront fired six innings of one-run ball his last time out in a 4-1 win over Cleveland, pushing his record to 3-1 in seven starts to go along with a 4.46 ERA.
The left-hander did not figure into the decision of a 6-4 win versus the Rays on April 15, when he was reached for four runs and nine hits in five innings. Doubront is 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA in five career games (2 starts) against Tampa Bay. He is, however, 2-0 in three road starts this season.
Boston won three of four meetings with the Rays from April 13-16 after losing 12 of the 18 matchups a season ago.
05/17 10:42:07 ET