MLB Game Preview - Rays v Red Sox

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4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 26, 2019
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Rays, swept in Tampa, seek revenge in Boston

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

  1. The Rays took the first two games of their last series against the Royals, but fell in the final game, 10-2. It was the first time Tampa Bay has allowed at least 10 runs this season -- the Rays allowed 10+ runs in three different games in April last year.
  2. The Red Sox have won five of their last seven games after starting the season 6-13. They have allowed 4.29 runs per game over those seven games after allowing 6.26 runs per game through April 17, second-most in MLB (Mets -- 6.28).
  3. Boston swept Tampa Bay in their first series of the season, as the three games were decided by a total of four runs. The Sox won six of nine in Boston last season despite being outhit, 77-74, in the season series.
  4. Tommy Pham went 2-for-4 against the Royals on Wednesday, his fourth multi-hit game in his last eight. Since being traded to the Rays on July 31 last season, the only AL player with a higher batting average than Pham (.328) is Boston's J.D. Martinez (.345; minimum 150 PA).
  5. J.D. Martinez has recorded at least one hit in 24 of 26 games this season for a total of 33 hits. His 33 hits are his most through 26 team games of a season in his career, besting his mark of 28 hits last year.
  6. Ji-Man Choi has been reactivated after a brief stay on the restricted list having reached base safely in each of his last 10 games. Choi has slashed .370/.455/.593 in 11 games against Boston in his career with two doubles, two triples and four walks.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/26/2019 thru 4/28/2019

The Tampa Bay Rays got swept at home by the Boston Red Sox last weekend, and they would love to even the score at Fenway Park this weekend, but it would help if they stopped losing players.

The banged-up Rays have lost five of their last seven games after a 14-4 start. The rematch begins Friday night when Rays right-hander Charlie Morton takes the mound.

Tampa Bay outfielder Austin Meadows injured his right thumb in the Boston series finale on Sunday and will be out until mid-May.

In the Rays' 10-2 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday, second baseman Joey Wendle suffered a right wrist fracture when he was hit by a pitch. Wendle had just recovered from a hamstring strain.

"It's a long season, and you're going to have some ups and downs," manager Kevin Cash told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's a little tougher (now) because we just lost another guy. That stinks, but we'll continue to try to find ways to win games and overcome it."

Wednesday's loss was one of only two that have been by more than one or two runs this season. Royals ace Blake Snell, who returned after missing a start with a fractured toe, lasted only 3 1/3 innings in taking the loss.

"We just need to be humbled a little bit because we can't go out there and think we're going to win each and every game just because we have a lot of talent," center fielder Kevin Kier¬maier told the Times. "No matter who you're playing in the big leagues, there's a lot of talent on the other side as well."

Morton (2-0, 3.38 ERA) had not given up more than two earned runs in his first four starts with the Rays until Boston scored five runs in six innings on Saturday. The 35-year-old Morton wasn't entirely ineffective, as he also struck out a season-high nine.

He's 3-1 with a 5.06 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox.

Boston left-hander David Price was originally scheduled to start Friday, but manager Alex Cora threw the Rays a curveball on Thursday, announcing that Price would start Saturday's game so he would pitch back-to-back with ace Chris Sale.

"I think that's the way we prefer it, feeling that they can go deep into games and can help us out bullpen-wise, so you keep them together and go from there," Cora said.

Cora didn't name Friday's starter during his postgame press conference. It may be a moot point, since rain is in the forecast.

Boston's offense has perked up in the last two games, scoring a combined 18 runs. Rookie second baseman Michael Chavis hit his second homer in just his third major league game on Thursday in a 7-3 win over Detroit.

Right fielder Mookie Betts has recovered from a slow start with five multi-hit efforts in his last seven games. Not coincidentally, the Red Sox are 5-2 over that span. Betts has three doubles over the last two games

"We know what we're capable of," Betts told "It's just a matter of doing it."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 26, 2019

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