American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 1st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (11-16) at Boston Red Sox (13-14), 1:05 p.m. & 7:10 p.m. (DH)
Probable Starting Pitchers: Game One: Tampa Bay - Cesar Ramos (1-1, 3.38) Boston - Jake Peavy (1-0, 2.87)
Game Two: Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (2-1, 4.11) Boston - Felix Doubront (1-3, 6.00)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays hope to snap out of their funk Thursday when they close a three-game series with their American League East- rival Boston Red Sox with a day/night doubleheader at Fenway Park.
Wednesday's middle contest was postponed by rain, making today's double dip necessary.
The Rays have lost three in a row and six of seven games, including Tuesday's 7-4 loss to the Red Sox in the opener of this series. Tampa Bay's bullpen imploded and allowed five runs in the sixth inning after Erik Bedard exited with five innings of one-run ball.
Brandon Gomes was saddled with the loss and gave up two runs, while Juan Carlos Oviedo allowed three runs for the Rays.
"You look at the gun with him tonight, he had his best velocity fastball by far. Stuff wise good. Good changeup. Good, except location was not there," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Gomes.
Yunel Escobar, Ryan Hanigan and Evan Longoria had an RBI apiece in defeat.
Tampa will hand the ball to lefty Cesar Ramos in the afternoon tilt, as he tries to follow up his first win. Ramos scattered five hits over five scoreless innings on Saturday in Chicago to even his record at 1-1, while lowering his ERA to 3.38.
Chris Archer gets the start in the nightcap for the Rays Thursday and he is 2-1 with a 4.11 earned run average in five starts. He did not record a decision in last Friday's 9-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox and allowed four runs in six innings. He has been reached for 12 runs over the past three starts.
Archer, a right-hander, has faced the Red Sox three times in his career and is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA.
The Red Sox won for the fourth time in six tries in Tuesday's opener and used that big sixth inning to take this series opener. Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in two with a double and A.J. Pierzynski, Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino added RBI hits in the frame. Victorino had four hits on the night.
"We're in a stretch here probably the last eight, 10 games where the bats have become more consistent," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Boston has scored seven or more runs three times in the last four games
Red Sox starter John Lackey improved to 4-2 with eight strong innings and allowed two runs with five strikeouts and a walk. Edward Mujica got the first two outs of the ninth and Koji Uehara struck out the last batter for his sixth save of the season.
Getting the call for the Red Sox in the first game will be veteran right- hander Jake Peavy, who is 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA. Peavy was impressive on Friday in Toronto, as he held the Blue Jays to a run and five hits in seven innings.
"Maybe a little bit more known commodity as far as dependability and getting deeper into the game," Farrell said of starting Peavy first. "Not to say it's always a guarantee, but that's what you go by, knowing you've got a guy that can hopefully keep a bullpen from getting overexposed early and look to have guys fresh for Game 2."
He has faced the Rays six times and is 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA.
Felix Doubront will start game two for the Red Sox Wednesday and hasn't won since his season debut on April 3, going 0-3 in the last four starts to raise his ERA from 5.06 to 6.00. Doubront lasted just 2 2/3 innings in last Thursday's 14-5 loss to the New York Yankees and allowed seven runs -- three earned.
The left-hander has given up at least three runs in four of his five starts and is 0-2 in three trips to the Fenway Park mound. Doubront has made 11 appearances (8 starts) against Tampa Bay, going 2-3 with a 3.24 ERA.
Boston went 12-7 against the Rays last season after splitting 18 meetings the year before.
05/01 10:26:50 ET