After eking out a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays look for a sweep in the rain-shortened two-game set this afternoon at Fenway Park. Shocker of the century, rain is in the forecast in Boston this afternoon. Too bad there isn’t a roof covering the Red Sox’s vaunted stadium.
Mike Zunino played a critical role in yesterday’s contest, both behind the plate and in the batter’s box. Up by a run thanks to Yandy Diaz, who hit a Monster shot in the first inning, Tampa Bay scraped across a run in the fourth when Tommy Pham doubled off the Monster and scored on a one-out single off the wall by Mike Zunino. After that, Price and four relievers allowed four walks, yet no hits, keeping the Rays off the board.
Meanwhile, Charlie Morton faced Boston for the second consecutive start and allowed just two hits and four walks across six innings of work, on 102 pitches (61 strikes, 60% strike rate). The right-hander didn’t have his best stuff, yet he still kept the Red Sox off the board. Morton worked out of a jam in the second inning — striking out Jackie Bradley Jr. and getting Christian Vazquez to ground out to short after allowing a pair of base runners with one out.
Boston again threatened in the third when Mookie Betts reached base on an infield single then advanced into scoring position on a throwing error by Willy Adames. Betts moved into third on a wild pitch, but the right-hander came up with a big strikeout against Xander Bogaerts to end the threat.
Morton got a little help from Zunino in the fourth when he picked Rafael Devers off first base to get the first out of the frame. Even though Michael Chavis drew a walk one pitch later, Tampa Bay turned a 6-4-3 double play to close out the inning. Morton coaxed a second double play an inning later, in the fifth.
The agile Zunino was active behind the plate, something that was critically important in the eighth when the Red Sox mounted their biggest threat of the game. He blocked multiple pitches in the dirt which, had they gotten past the backstop, assuredly would have spelled doom for Tampa Bay.
The win on Saturday was Tampa Bay’s first over Boston in four tries, and the team’s first one-run win in five games this season.
The New What Next
Tyler Glasnow (4-0, 1.53 ERA) will get the start in the series finale, pitching opposite of Chris Sale (0-4, 7.43 ERA).
Tyler Glasnow struck out five and allowed two runs on three walks and three hits over 5-1/3 innings on Sunday. Coming into Sunday’s start, the right-hander had issued just three free passes in 24 innings but matched that total against Boston. He also threw just 49 of 76 pitches for strikes (64% strike rate), yet made the big pitch when he needed to. Still, Glasnow owns a terrific 4.83 K/BB and a 1.53 ERA this season. The right-hander will try to get his revenge against Boston on Saturday.
Chris Sale gave up two earned runs on five hits over five innings of work in his last start. He fanned 10 and walked two in the Red Sox 7-4 loss. Sale shut out the Tigers over the first three frames but yielded single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the latter on a solo homer. The southpaw struck out two batters in each inning, throwing 97 pitches overall (72 strikes, 74% strike rate). This season Sale has relied primarily on a 78 mph sweeping slider, a 93 mph four-seam fastball with heavy sinking action and arm-side run, and an 85 mph circle changeup with obvious arm-side fade that dives down out of the zone, while also mixing in a 92 mph sinker with obvious tail and natural sinking action. Key Matchups: Willy Adames (1-3, HR, RBI), Yandy Diaz (2-3, 2B, RBI, BB), Avisail Garcia (3-6, 2B), Kevin Kiermaier (5-17, HR, 3 RBI, BB)
You can read about the series in our preview, and the lineup is below, as is Noteworthiness.
Rays 4/28/19 Starting Lineup
- Diaz 1B
- Pham LF
- Robertson 2B
- Garcia DH
- Zunino C
- Kiermaier CF
- Heredia RF
- Adames SS
- Arroyo 3B
- Glasnow RHP
— JD Martinez (back spasms) remains out of the lineup for Boston.
— The Rays made a roster move this morning, reinstating RHP Hunter Wood and optioning RHP Austin Pruitt back to Durham.
— Just sayin’…
— Who says Yandy can only hit line drive missiles?!