Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Ray
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, July 22, 2019
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
TAMPA-ST. PETE – The Boston Red Sox had a chance to pile up some wins against the bottom team in the American League East ahead of a brutal stretch versus the top two clubs in the division, but they failed to take full advantage of the opportunity. The Red Sox are slumping as they visit the Tampa Bay Rays tonight for the start of a three-game series and the beginning of a stretch with 14 straight against the Rays and the New York Yankees.
Boston sandwiched a 17-6 win around a pair of losses at the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, including a 5-0 loss on Sunday in which it managed one hit and slipped 11 games behind the Yankees in the division and three games behind the Oakland Athletics in the race for the second wild card. “If I knew the answer to (how to fix our performance), we’d be doing it,” infielder Brock Holt told the team’s website. “We have to play better in all aspects. “We have a good stretch here against teams that we are chasing, so this is a good time to start if we are going to do it.”
The Rays are not performing their best of late either, but snapped a five-game slide with a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday and sit two games ahead of the Red Sox while also chasing New York and Oakland. Tampa Bay will send former Red Sox prospect Jalen Beeks to the mound on Monday while Boston counters with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, NESN (Boston), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (11-4, 4.34 ERA) vs. Rays LH Jalen Beeks (5-0, 2.78)
Rodriguez is on a roll of late and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts. The 26-year-old Venezuelan worked at least six innings in each of the last two turns and is coming off a win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday in which he scattered three hits – two solo homers – over six frames. Rodriguez is 0-1 in two starts against Tampa Bay this season, yielding a total of eight runs – seven earned – and 14 hits in 11 innings.
Beeks, who was part of the trade that sent Nathan Eovaldi to Boston last season, is making his first start of 2019 after serving primarily as a long man out of the bullpen. Beeks allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last eight appearances and last worked Tuesday at New York, against which he allowed one run and two hits in 3 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old made two appearances against the Red Sox after the trade last season and earned a pair of wins while surrendering a total of three runs and eight hits in 9 1/3 innings.
- Red Sox INF Michael Chavis (lower back) sat out Sunday but is expected to be available Monday.
- Tampa Bay INF Matt Duffy (hamstring) finished a minor league rehab assignment and is expected to be activated early this week.
- Boston LF Andrew Benintendi is 5-for-34 in nine games since the All-Star break.