Where: Fenway Park, Boston
Archer was 0-5 with a 5.86 ERA in five starts against Boston last year but he has opened what he hopes to be a bounce-back campaign with back-to-back solid starts. The Red Sox won 10 of the final 13 meetings with Tampa Bay last year and they enter the first matchup of 2017 on a high note after a comeback 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Xander Bogaerts’ RBI single capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning as Boston improved to 4-1 at Fenway Park. The Rays opened the season with a 5-2 homestand before dropping three straight at Yankee Stadium, including Thursday’s 3-2 setback.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (1-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (1-0, 4.38)
Archer allowed two runs and struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings to help Tampa Bay defeat Toronto his last time out, throwing 114 pitches. Opponents are hitting .222 against him and right-handed batters have a measly .492 OPS through the first two starts. Mookie Betts is 8-for-23 with two homers and seven walks versus Archer, who is 1-11 lifetime against Boston and has a 7.30 ERA in five Fenway Park starts.
Porcello gave up four runs (three earned) and 11 hits in six frames of a no-decision at Detroit last Sunday. The 28-year-old went 5-0 with a 3.07 ERA in six starts against Tampa Bay last year and has a 3.03 mark in 17 career matchups. Porcello will be mindful of Corey Dickerson (7-for-19, one homer against him) and Logan Morrison (8-for-22) as he looks to improve upon a 21-9 career mark at Fenway.
1. Betts is batting .174 but has yet to have a strikeout in 23 at-bats.
2. Dickerson recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the year with a 2-for-4 showing at New York on Thursday.
3. Red Sox RHP Craig Kimbrel has recorded 19 straight saves at Fenway, tied with Jeff Russell (1990-93) for the third-longest run in team history.