Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, August 1, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – While the Boston Red Sox elected to stand pat and failed to add an arm to their beleaguered bullpen at Wednesday’s trade deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays made a flurry of moves to bolster their chances for a wild-card spot. After extending their recent mastery of the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Rays look to complete a three-game sweep tonight.
Tampa Bay swung a deal with Milwaukee to acquire first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who clubbed 35 homers last season, and fortified its rotation and bullpen in a trade with Miami, bringing in a starter pitcher in Trevor Richards and a power arm in Nick Anderson. Kevin Kiermaier provided a jolt in his return from the injury list, homering on the first pitch he saw and adding an RBI triple as the Rays improved to 7-1 in their last eight at Fenway with an 8-5 victory Wednesday.
Reigning World Series champion Boston has been without a true closer all season and has 18 blown saves, but general manager David Dombrowski said there was not a “gaping hole” at the back of the bullpen. J.D. Martinez homered among three hits but the Red Sox received another sub-par outing from a starter to extend their losing streak to three and fall 2 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for second place in the American League East.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSS (Tampa Bay), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Brendan McKay (1-1, 3.72 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Andrew Cashner (10-5, 4.18)
McKay, recalled up from Triple-A Durham to make the start, turned in a stellar effort to win his major league debut with six scoreless innings of one-hit ball to beat Texas on June 29. He went five innings in a pair of no-decisions versus the Yankees and Baltimore in his next two turns, striking out a career-best seven versus the Orioles before he was shelled for six runs and nine hits by the White Sox on July 19. He is holding lefties to a .214 batting average.
Cashner broke into the win column in his third start with Boston since he was acquired from Baltimore, going 6 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on 10 hits to beat the New York Yankees. The 32-year-old was knocked around for 10 runs and 14 hits, including four homers, in losing his first two outings with the Red Sox. Cashner was 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts against Tampa Bay last year and pitched five innings of two-run ball in a no-decision on April 18.
- The Rays sent RHP Ryne Stanek and OF Jesus Sanchez to Miami for RHPs Richards and Anderson.
- 2B Michael Chavis also went deep for Boston, which has homered in 16 straight games at Fenway — its longest streak since a 17-game run in 1969.
- Tampa Bay placed 2B Joey Wendle (wrist) on the injured list and activated OF Kevin Kiermaier.