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Wind: N 5
Boston Red Sox (99-65) at Tampa Bay Rays (93-73)
Monday, October 07 - 6:00 PM EST
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
The Boston Red Sox are one game away from advancing to the American League Championship Series. They will attempt to close out the Division Series when they visit Tampa Bay for Game 3 on Monday. The Red Sox got all the breaks the quirky dimensions of their home park had to offer in the first two games and ended up tagging Tampa Bay pitching for 19 runs in the two contests.
The Rays struggled to figure out the “Green Monster” in left field and rookie Wil Myers endeared himself to the Boston fans with a big mistake in right during Game 1, but the familiar dimensions of their own stadium await in Game 3. Tampa Bay went 51-30 at home during the regular season, tied for the third-best home record in the AL behind the Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. To get back in the series the Rays need to figure out a way to stop David Ortiz, who homered twice in Game 2 and contributed a key double in Game 1.
TV: 6:07 p.m. ET, TBS
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Rays RH Alex Cobb (1-0, 0.00)
Buchholz went 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts after returning from a shoulder injury that cost him three months during the regular season. The 29-year-old made his return at Tampa Bay on Sept. 10 and struck out six in five scoreless innings to earn the win. Buchholz made only one previous postseason start, yielding two runs on six hits in five innings against the Los Angeles Angels in the 2009 ALDS.
Cobb pitched the Rays into the Division Series with 6 2/3 scoreless innings at Cleveland in the wild-card game last Wednesday. The Boston native allowed a total of three runs in 30 innings while striking out 31 over his last four starts. Cobb had trouble with the Red Sox, however, going 0-1 with a 5.16 ERA in four starts against his hometown team during the regular season.
1. Saturday marked the first multi-homer game of Ortiz’s postseason career. He is 1-for-6 lifetime against Cobb.
2. Myers is 1-for-13 with five strikeouts in his first three postseason games.
3. Boston closer Koji Uehara threw 11 pitches - all strikes - in earning the save in Game 2.
PREDICTION: Rays 5, Red Sox 3