Boston at Tampa Bay
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Boston (90-41) has dropped five of its last seven games, including three to the Rays, and watched its lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East shrink to seven games. The Red Sox still lead the majors in runs scored with 705 but totaled four runs in their last three games against Tampa Bay and dropped Saturday’s contest 5-1 after going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Boston isn’t the only team being flummoxed lately by the Rays, who are winners of seven in a row and are allowing an average of 1.6 runs in that span. Tampa Bay will try to keep that run of strong pitching performances going behind ace Blake Snell on Sunday while the Red Sox counter with former Ray Nathan Eovaldi.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, TBS, NESN (Boston), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Nathan Eovaldi (5-5, 3.81 ERA) vs. Rays LH Blake Snell (15-5, 2.07)
Eovaldi won his first two starts after coming over in a trade from Tampa Bay prior to the July 31 deadline, scattering a combined seven hits across 15 scoreless innings against Minnesota and New York. The veteran Texan was not nearly as strong in his next three turns, when he yielded a total of 15 runs – nine earned – in 13 innings against Baltimore, Philadelphia and Cleveland. Eovaldi went 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts at Tropicana Field prior to the trade.
Snell is making a run at the AL Cy Young Award and has earned the win in each of his last three starts while allowing one run and six hits in 16 total innings. The 25-year-old struck out 11 in six frames against Kansas City on Tuesday. Snell had little trouble in his first three starts this season against Boston, allowing two runs in 19 innings while going 2-0.
1. The Red Sox are assured of their first losing series since June 29-July 1 at New York.
2. Tampa Bay OF Tommy Pham homered Saturday for the first time since being acquired at the trade deadline.
3. Boston LHP Chris Sale (shoulder) could resume throwing when the team returns home on Monday.