American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 31st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (23-32) at Boston Red Sox (25-29), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jake Odorizzi (2-4, 4.56) Boston - Rubby De La Rosa (0-0, 0.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - After another trilling win on Friday night, the Boston Red Sox will be back in action on Saturday as they take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the second of three straight meetings between division rivals.
A night after topping Atlanta 4-3 when Jackie Bradley Jr. scored on an error, the Red Sox won in walk-off fashion yet again. In the bottom of the 10th inning A.J. Pierzynski drove a ball to deep center that ended up as the game- winner as Johnny Gomes came around to score from first.
Pierzynski went 2-for-5 in the game to improve his average to .283 on the season. Xander Bogaerts continued his tear as well, putting together a 3-for-5 night to boost his batting average to .304.
Andrew Miller picked up the win, the fifth straight for the Red Sox, after getting Logan Forsythe to fly out for the final out of the top of the 10th inning.
David Price worked seven strong innings for Tampa Bay, allowing just two runs on six hits. However, he did not factor in the decision. Juan Carlos Oviedo took the loss, hitting a batter and allowing the game-winning hit in the 10th inning as the Rays lost their fourth straight.
The game featured even more drama as there was yet another bench clearing incident between the two division rivals when Mike Carp was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. That came after Price had hit David Ortiz in the back in the bottom of the first.
"I have no more respect for him. Last year we kick his ass in the playoffs, he went off, talking (bleep) about everybody, (television analyst) Tom Verducci and everybody, players," Ortiz said. "We kind of got to talk on the phone. We kind of straightened things out. He was kind of upset. As a veteran, I kind of let him know how things go in this game. Everything was cool. So first at-bat of the season against him he threw at me? I mean, it's a war. Next time he hits me he better bring the gloves."
Countered Price, "I've got to establish my fastball in. I've got six lefties in that lineup. It's my favorite side of the plate to go to. I've got to establish it in."
In what could be another heated encounter, Jake Odorizzi will attempt to finish off the month of May with a victory and end the losing streak for Tampa Bay when he gets the start on Saturday.
If the right-hander can replicate his performance from a week ago he will easily accomplish that goal. Pitching against Boston last Sunday, Odorizzi pitched a strong six innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out five batters. Unfortunately he did not factor in the decision, leaving his record at 2-4. His ERA did drop to 4.56, the lowest it has been since he pitched six shutout innings in his first start of the season against Texas.
In his brief three-year career Odorizzi is winless in two starts against the Red Sox, but he has an ERA of 1.54 in 11 2/3 combined innings during those appearances.
The Red Sox will once again attempt to find some solutions by looking to their farm system on Saturday, as Rubby De La Rosa has been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Clay Buchholz's spot in the rotation.
Buchholz landed on the disabled list because of a hyperextended left knee.
De La Rosa was part of the 2012 trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers. De La Rosa has been strong in the minors this year with an ERA of 3.04 in 10 starts.
In terms of MLB experience, De La Rosa has pitched in 25 games and recorded an ERA of 4.21. He pitched in 11 games out of the bullpen for Boston last season (0-2, 5.56). The last time he started a game was in 2011 when he made 10 starts for the Dodgers, going 4-5 with a 3.71 for the season.
De La Rosa has a very brief history against the Rays. He allowed tow hits and a run in just 1/3 an inning of work in his one and only appearance against them last September.
Even with Friday night's win, Boston is still just 2-5 against Tampa Bay this season.
05/31 10:32:15 ET