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Boston Red Sox Vs Tampa Bay Rays Friday Preview

August 29th, 2014 at 4:37 PM
By Sean Penney

The Boston Red Sox (58-75) continue to the next stop on their road trip to take on the Tampa Bay Rays (65-69). Boston is 5-7 so far this season against the Rays and lost 2 out of 3 the last time they visited Tropicana Field.

Both teams entered the season with strong playoff aspirations, only to become huge disappointments. The Rays have played as well as anyone lately, going 41-27 since June 11. That .602 winning percentage would tie the LA Angels for the best in baseball if they had managed to play at that level the entire season. Despite still having a losing record, they have a +15 run differential that is second best in the AL East.

Scouting Report

  • Anthony Ranaudo (2-0, 4.50 ERA) has been called up for his third career start. He's taking the spot in the rotation vacated by Brandon Workman, who was demoted after his last start. He's been having a very solid season in Pawtucket, going 14-4 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 138 innings. Edwin Escobar has been optioned to Pawtucket to clear room for Ranaudo.
  • Yoenis Cespedes has driven in a team-leading 20 of Boston's 96 runs scored (21%) since joining the team on August 2. He has the game-winning RBI in 3 of the club's 9 wins since his debut and all four of his home runs in a Boston uniform have given the team the lead.
  • David Ortiz is 5-for-12 (.417) against Chris Archer with a home run and 8 RBI. Since the Rays joined MLB in 1998, nobody has more RBI (151) or walks (141) against them than Ortiz. He also has the most home runs (28) as a visiting player at the Trop.
  • Rusney Castillo has been cleared to play after obtaining a work visa from the U.S. Government. He may play in tomorrow's playoff game for the team's GCL affiliate, as the Red Sox look to use a limited window before the minor league season ends to find him at-bats.
  • Chris Archer (8-6, 3.09 ERA) gets the start for Tampa Bay. He's faced Boston three times already this season and is 0-1 with a 4.33 ERA against them. He technically leads the Rays starters in ERA this season, but only because Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson haven't pitched enough innings to qualify.
  • Rays 3B Evan Longoria has more at-bats against Boston than any hitter in their lineup (49). Nobody with at least 25 career at-bats against the Red Sox is hitting better than Longoria's .286, but he only has a .308 OBP and 2 extra-base hits to go with that respectable average.

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