No matter how you want to attempt to sugar coat it – there’s no such thing as such during an 11-game losing streak. In any sport. At any time. Ever. The Tampa Bay Rays were riding such a streak as they welcomed in the second-place Boston Red Sox to Tropicana Field on Monday to begin a three-game series. The Sox, who were struggling, themselves and losing ground in the AL East to the surging Orioles, would have their own slump to break out of having lost the last two series to the White Sox and Rangers.
Rays 13 Red Sox 7
Blake Snell would get his first big league win pitching into the sixth inning on a night where he didn’t have his best stuff but was backed up, in spades, by the Rays bats. Five hitters would have a three-hit game, including Logan Forsythe who’d hit his sixth home run of the season among his three hits. Evan Longoria, Taylor Motter, Nick Franklin (led the team with a career-high 5 RBIs), and new Rays OF Oswaldo Arcia would all have three hits each behind Forsythe. Nine of the Rays 13 runs would be scored off Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez in just 2.2 innings before he was pulled by skipper John Farrell in the third.
W: Snell (1-2) L: Rodriguez (1-3)
Red Sox 8 Rays 2
The good news? Chris Archer got out of the first inning without giving up a run. The bad news? The offense couldn’t pick him up and he’d lose his MLB-worst 11th game of the season. The other bad news, yes there’s more, is that the Rays bullpen duo of Enny Romero and Dana Eveland would continue to struggle giving up four more runs after Archer was pulled in the seventh inning. Shortstop, Brad Miller, would hit his 10th home run of the year, though, and Evan Longoria would notch two more hits, himself, for the Rays offense who could only manage six hits in the ballgame while Boston 3B, Travis Shaw, would lead the Sox offense with five RBIs and a home run of his own.
W: Porcello (9-2) L: Archer (4-11)
Lefty v lefty. Former 17-game winner v former Cy Young winner. David Price v Matt Moore for the first time ever…and it would prove to be a pretty good day for the Rays lefty in Wednesday’s matinee rubber match. The Rays offense exploded for four quick runs off their former mate early thanks to Brandon Guyer setting the table with his seventh home run of the season in the second inning fresh off his DL stint. Moore would take a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Christian Vazquez would single to lead off. The Sox would get the bases loaded in the inning with one out and Moore would stand tall getting Ortiz to pop out and Ramirez to fly out, ending the biggest threat of the game for Boston. After seven shutout innings, Moore’s day would be over marking the fifth straight start he’s gone six or more innings. On Wednesday afternoon, the Rays bullpen duo of Erasmo Ramirez and Xavier Cedeno would slam the door and secure the 4-0 shutout and series victory for Tampa Bay following an 11-game losing streak.
W: Moore (4-5) L: Price (8-5)
The Rays welcome in the Detroit Tigers for a four-game series beginning Thursday night.
6/30 – Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 3.93) v Jordan Zimmerman (9-4, 3.81)
7/1 – Drew Smyly (2-8, 5.32) v Michael Fulmer (7-2, 2.40)
7/2 – Blake Snell (1-2, 3.54) v Justin Verlander (7-6, 4.30)
7/3 – Chris Archer (4-11, 4.76) v Mike Pelfrey (2-7, 5.02)
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