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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, June 1st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (23-33) at Boston Red Sox (26-29), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Erik Bedard (2-3, 4.10) Boston - Jon Lester (5-6, 3.45)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox will seek a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Sox have been on a tear since dropping their 10th straight game last Sunday. Since that 8-5 loss to the same Rays they face on Sunday, they have won six straight, including a 7-1 victory over Tampa Bay in game two of this series Saturday night.
Rubby De La Rosa was the story for the Red Sox on Saturday. The right-hander, who came over in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to Dodgers, was making his first start since 2011 in the game and showed no signs of rust. He threw seven shutout innings and stuck out eight batters to earn the win.
"He was outstanding," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of De La Rosa. "The biggest difference from a year ago to what we saw tonight was the changeup. It's an outstanding changeup."
Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit two-run home runs on the offensive side for Boston, while Jonathan Herrera went 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Jake Odorizzi couldn't make it out of the fourth inning as he took the loss for Tampa Bay. He allowed five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. There was a bit of a silver lining as Odorizzi struck out six batters in the outing.
The Rays scored their only run on a solo home run from Kevin Kiermaier in the eighth inning as they dropped their fifth straight contest.
Erik Bedard faces one of his many former teams on Sunday when he takes the hill for Tampa Bay.
The veteran left-hander is with his sixth team in his 11 years in the majors. He pitched the second half of the 2011 season with Boston after coming over in a trade from Seattle. In that time Bedard went just 1-2 with a 4.03 ERA in eight starts.
He has had similar success with Tampa Bay with a record of 2-3 and an unimpressive ERA of 4.10 in nine games this season.
Bedard's most recent start was one to forget as he gave up season-highs in hits (13) and runs (8) in just four innings of work against Toronto. The Rays lost the game 10-5 as Bedard dropped his second straight decision.
During his career Bedard has had 15 chances to pitch against the Red Sox. In that time he has split 10 decisions and earned an ERA of 4.50.
Boston's staff leader will be in action on Sunday as Jon Lester gets the ball from Farrell.
Lester has been the workhorse for the Red Sox staff yet again. He has pitched in 73 innings in 11 starts and has taken the decision in all of those outings (5-6). He has also put together a respectable 3.45 ERA in those 11 starts, which has him on pace for his lowest mark since 2010.
Lester labored through six innings against Atlanta last Tuesday to gut out his fifth win of the season. The left-hander allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings, while striking out seven batters. It was the eighth time this season he has had at least seven punch outs.
Although he has yet to face the Rays this season, Lester has had plenty of opportunities to pitch against them. He is 12-9 with a 4.30 ERA in 26 career starts against the Red Sox's division rivals.
Even with Saturday's win, Boston is still just 3-5 against Tampa Bay this season.
06/01 10:30:30 ET