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Boston Red Sox Vs Tampa Bay Rays Saturday Preview

August 30th, 2014 at 4:34 PM
By Sean Penney

The Boston Red Sox (59-75) continue their series with the Tampa Bay Rays (65-70) after taking the first game of the series last night.

The Red Sox jumped all over Chris Archer for 8 runs (7 earned) in the first two innings, including the first career grand slam for Mookie Betts. The Rays bullpen managed to shut down Boston's lineup after Archer was pulled to start the 5th inning, but the damage had been done as the Sox cruised to giving Anthony Ranaudo his third career victory in as many starts.

Scouting Report

  • Allen Webster (3-2, 5.81 ERA) takes the mound for Boston. His first start of the season came in Tampa back on July 27, where he picked up the win by holding the Rays to 2 runs over 5.1 innings. He also walked 5 batters in that game and has more walks (20) than strikeouts (18) this season. He's the only member of the Red Sox pitching staff with more walks than strikeouts (Joe Kelly has 18 of each since coming to Boston).
  • Xander Bogaerts has been activated from the 7-day concussion DL and is in the lineup tonight. He was stuck in a terrible slump, hitting .106 in the month of August, before getting hit in the head by a pitch from Felix Hernandez. Hopefully a week off did more to help clear his head besides just recovering from the concussion symptoms. Anthony Ranaudo is being sent back to Pawtucket to clear room to activate Bogaerts. With rosters set to expand in a couple of days, the Red Sox will carry an extra infielder and call up another pitcher when that turn in the rotation comes up again.
  • At 21-years old, Mookie Betts became the youngest player in franchise history to hit a grand slam since Tony Conigliaro did it at age 20 on August 24, 1965. Conigliaro hit 3 grand slams before turning 21, the first of which came when he was only 19.
  • When Carlos Rivero came in as a late game replacement at 3B last night, he became the 50th player to appear in a game for the Red Sox this season. Last year the team used only 48 players the entire season. Rivero walked in his only plate appearance.
  • Jake Odorizzi (9-11, 4.23 ERA) gets the start for Tampa Bay. He was one of the pieces the Rays acquired from the Kansas City Royals for James Shields in a deal that is increasingly looking like the Royals got the better end of. Odorizzi has been mediocre and Wil Myers has disappointed as the key cog to the trade, missing significant time with injury and hitting only .217 this season. Meanwhile, Shields is leading a pitching staff for a Royals team poised to make the playoffs for the first time in nearly 30 years, while Wade Davis has become one of the game's best setup men.
  • Desmond Jennings was a late scratch from last night's game due to left knee soreness and he remains out today. The 27-year old hasn't taken the leap offensively that many predicted he'd have made by now at a time he should be entering his prime. He has modest pop in his bat and speed on the bases, while providing good defense in center field, but he's hitting only .244 and doesn't get on base nearly enough for someone that typically hits at the top of the Rays lineup. He has a .301 OBP from the lead-off spot this season, lowest of any hitter with at least 150 at-bats from that spot.

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