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Boston Red Sox (59-75) at Tampa Bay Rays (65-70)
Saturday, August 30 - 7:10 PM EST
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Rookie Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox are enjoying quite the road trip. Betts and Boston look to continue their good fortune on Saturday when they visit the Rays in the second contest of their four-game series. After belting a solo homer on Monday, Betts blasted his first career grand slam four nights later as the Red Sox cruised to an 8-4 triumph and improved to 3-1 on their 10-game road trip.
While Betts has enjoyed a productive week, Yoenis Cespedes continued his sizzling August by driving in a pair of runs to increase his total to 22 in the month. Tumbling Tampa Bay is singing a different tune as it has dropped nine of its last 13 contests after opening a 10-game homestand against its American League East rivals with a thud. The Rays need to make hay at Tropicana Field to keep alive their faint postseason hopes, but their subpar 29-37 mark at home this season doesn't provide much room for optimism.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), SUN (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Allen Webster (3-2, 5.81 ERA) vs. Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (9-11, 4.23)
Webster suffered his first loss since Aug. 2 after yielding season highs in both runs (six) and hits (eight) while pitching just 4 1/3 innings in an 8-6 setback to Seattle on Sunday. The 24-year-old was coming off a string of three consecutive quality starts before authoring a dud versus the Mariners. Webster picked up the win versus Tampa Bay on July 27, permitting two runs on three hits and overcoming five walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Odorizzi struggled mightily en route to suffering his second consecutive loss, yielding four homers and eight runs total on 11 hits in four innings in a 9-1 setback to Baltimore on Monday. The 24-year-old capped his horrific performance by allowing consecutive blasts before departing. Odorizzi also sputtered versus Boston on May 31, allowing five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings to take the loss.
1. Tampa Bay's Brandon Guyer homered and drove in three runs in the opener while playing in place of fellow OF Desmond Jennings, who is expected to play on Saturday despite being plagued with left knee soreness.
2. Boston slugger David Ortiz has reached base safely in 14 straight contests, but is just 1-for-7 with two strikeouts versus Odorizzi.
3. Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts is expected to be reinstated from the seven-day concussion list on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Rays 4, Red Sox 2