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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, June 12th (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (40-26) at Tampa Bay Rays (35-29), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Alfredo Aceves (2-1, 6.57) Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (1-1, 4.91)

(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays try to clinch their first series victory of the season over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night when the two AL East rivals wrap a three-game set.

The Red Sox recovered from a pair of blown leads to secure Monday's opener 10-8 in 14 innings, but the Rays rebounded to even the set with Tuesday's 8-3 victory.

Tampa Bay swatted four homers in Monday's loss and went deep four times again in the victory. Desmond Jennings hit a pair of solo homers, Evan Longoria went deep and Matt Joyce had a two-run homer as the Rays snapped a two-game slide.

In need of innings after Monday's marathon, Roberto Hernandez logged seven- plus frames of work in the win. He overcame some early struggles to limit Boston to three runs while striking out seven.

"Roberto took charge," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of his starter. "I think I'm learning a lesson with him. If we can get him deep into the games, he gets better."

Jon Lester couldn't duplicate Hernandez's actions for Boston, lasting just 4 2/3 innings. He yielded three home runs and tied a career high by issuing seven walks, charged with seven runs and eight hits as well.

"I did a terrible job of helping our bullpen out, a terrible job of keeping the ball down in the zone," Lester admitted. "The list goes on. This is solely on me. I just flat out didn't get it done."

Mike Napoli had a two-run single and Jacoby Ellsbury finished with two hits and a pair of runs scored for Boston, which had won three in a row coming in.

Ellsbury is batting .447 (21-for-47) over a 10-game hitting streak, but Dustin Pedroia had a 14-game run come to an end after going 0-for-2 with an RBI on a sac fly.

Boston has still won six of eight meetings with the Rays so far this season and will give Alfredo Aceves the start tonight.

Franklin Morales was scheduled to make this spot start for the Red Sox, but he pitched the final two innings of Monday's game to get the win. So, Aceves will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he is 2-1 with a 3.52 earned run average in five starts this season.

The 31-year-old righty last pitched with the Red Sox on May 27, hurling the club to a 9-3 win over Philadelphia. Aceves logged six innings and gave up just one run in his fourth start of the campaign and seventh overall appearance. He is 2-1 with a 6.57 ERA in that span this year.

Aceves has never started against the Rays, but is 2-1 with three saves and a 2.39 ERA against them in 19 relief appearances.

Chris Archer, meanwhile, makes his third start of the season for the Rays.

The 24-year-old lost his season debut on June 1 in Cleveland as he yielded five runs over just four innings of work. Archer was much sharper at home versus Baltimore on Friday, giving up one run, two hits and a pair of walks over seven innings to claim a 2-1 win.

Archer matched the longest start of his young career by retiring the final seven batters faced.

The right-hander is 2-4 with a 4.69 ERA in eight career appearances, including six starts. He faced the Red Sox once last year and picked up a 13-3 win while allowing three runs over five innings.

06/12 10:25:58 ET