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Tampa Bay Rays (55-75) at Boston Red Sox (73-58)
Tuesday, August 30 - 7:10 PM EST
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Red Sox need the Toronto Blue Jays to start losing some games if they want to jump back into first place in the American League East. The Red Sox will try to do what they can to move up in the standings by taking the first two from Tampa Bay when the Rays visit for the second of a three-game series on Tuesday
Boston took the series opener 9-4 on Monday but remained two games behind the Blue Jays, who won at Baltimore and pushed their winning streak to four straight. The Red Sox were tied with Toronto last week before dropping four of five – beginning with a pair of losses in Tampa Bay – but got both the pitching and the hitting to work on Monday as Rick Porcello continued his strong season with seven solid innings and Mookie Betts hit his 30th home run. The Rays are in last place in the AL East but will have a say in how the division shakes out after beginning a stretch of 26 straight games against AL East opponents with Monday’s loss. Tampa Bay is 22-29 against the AL East and has dropped three of its last four overall.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Jake Odorizzi (9-5, 3.53 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (10-10, 2.95)
Odorizzi earned the win in each of his last six decisions, including a seven-inning stint against Boston last week in which he allowed one run and five hits. The 26-year-old is 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break and is limiting opponents to a .233 batting average in that span. Odorizzi’s last loss came at the Red Sox on July 10, when he was knocked around for four runs on six hits and a walk in five frames.
Pomeranz absorbed the loss while going up against Odorizzi on Thursday despite notching 11 strikeouts and scattering two runs across six innings. The 27-year-old allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last five outings but made it past the sixth inning in only one of those turns. Pomeranz is 0-1 with a 5.02 ERA in three starts at Fenway Park since joining the Red Sox after the All-Star break.
1. Red Sox RHP Koji Uehara (strained pectoral) threw 25 pitches to batters on Monday and could return as soon as early next week.
2. Tampa Bay RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) is expected to make his first major-league start since 2014 on Friday.
3. Betts joined Ted Williams (1939 and 1941) and Tony Conigliaro (1965) as the only players in franchise history to hit 30 homers in a season before turning 24.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 4, Rays 3