American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, September 19th
(All times eastern)
Boston Red Sox (68-81) at Tampa Bay Rays (78-70), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5, 7.14)
Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (0-3, 3.22)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays have picked a bad time to go into the
tank. On Wednesday, the Rays try to put the brakes on a five-game losing
streak when they continue a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana
Tampa won six of eight to begin September, but was swept in a three-game set
by the Baltimore Orioles, lost two of three to the New York Yankees and has
dropped the first two games of this series to the hapless Red Sox.
On Tuesday, Ryan Lavarnway hit a key two-run double in the seventh inning and
Boston rolled to a 7-5 win. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, James Loney and
Jarrod Saltalamacchia posted an RBI each for the Red Sox, who have won four of
Felix Doubront (11-9) walked five over six innings, but allowed just one hit
and three runs while fanning five.
Ben Zobrist finished with two hits and drove in four runs for the Rays, who
are six games back in the AL East lead as well as the wild card.
"We've just really had a hard time over, well not only the last week, but the
whole season," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. "We have to do better somehow."
Kyle Farnsworth (1-6) was charged with an unearned run in the sixth that was
Boston's go-ahead score.
Tampa, though, could get on track against Boston righty Daisuke Matsuzaka, who
is 1-5 with a miserable 7.14 ERA. Matsuzaka did not get a decision on Friday
in Toronto, but did not pitch well, allowing four runs and three walks in 5
1/3 innings of an 8-5 win.
Matsuzaka hasn't had much success versus the Rays and is 2-7 with a 5.83 ERA
in 13 games.
Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with 23-year-old righty Chris Archer, who is
0-3 with a 3.22 ERA. Archer earned a loss in relief on Thursday against
Baltimore, as he surrendered a run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings.
"It instilled confidence in me," Archer said of the outing. "The whole team
knew I could do it. I was able to compete and keep the team in the game, and
that's what it's all about."
Archer has never faced the Red Sox.
Boston is 9-5 versus the Rays this season.
09/19 14:16:27 ET