The Rays hope to salvage a split of the four-game series against the first place Boston Red Sox on Thursday afternoon. Following Wednesday night’s 11-inning, walk off victory, the Rays will send arguably their hottest starter to the hill in Jake Odorizzi (8-5, 3.63) to kick off the 1:10 PM finale.
The lineup for the “good guys:”
2B Logan Forsythe
CF Kevin Kiermaier
3B Evan Longoria
1B Brad Miller
SS Matt Duffy
DH Corey Dickerson
RF Steven Souza Jr
LF Mikie Mahtook
C Luke Maile
And for the Sawx:
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
RF Mookie Betts
DH Hanley Ramirez
CF Jackie Bradley Jr
LF Chris Young
3B Aaron Hill
1B Travis Shaw
C Bryan Holaday
The Sox send lefty Drew Pomeranz (2-2, 4.23) to the hill to counter Odorizzi. The Sox are in a dead tie with the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East, both sitting at 71-55. The Orioles, however, are just a game back making the East the tightest division in baseball and the only three-team race.
In the eighth inning of last night’s extra-inning victory, Evan Longoria tied the game at three when he hit his 30th home run of the season, passing Carlos Pena as the only player in team history to have four seasons of 30 home runs.
“I had written some numbers down this year,” Longo said before Thursday’s game. “Really the first time I’d ever done it. I had actually written down a bigger number than thirty but thirty homers is always kinda that magic number. It’s a number that I’m very proud of at this point.”
Longo is just three bombs shy of his career high of 33 which he set back in 2009. He is currently on pace to finish 2016 with 39 home runs.
- Wednesday’s walk-off was just the third of the season and first off an error since May 24, 2014 v Boston, as well.
- Have won seven of their last ten games outscoring opponents 61-28 in the process.
- Have the AL’s best run differential and 2nd best in majors since the All Star break.
- Leads the AL in team ERA since the All Star break at 2.96 and is also 2nd in majors behind Cubs 2.61.
RED SOX NOTES:
- At 71-55 are just two games behind the pace of their 2004 and 2013 World Series championship season.
- David Ortiz moved into 10th place Wednesday night, tied with Hank Aaron, in all-time doubles at 624.
- Seven of final ten games in August is against the Rays.
- Had won five in a row v Rays before Wednesday’s loss.
- Started 2016 with a 3-7 record in day games but are 20-11 since then.
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