The Boston Red Sox, following a disappointing two-game series in the Bronx against the New York Yankees, took another cold streak into St. Petersburg, Florida to take on the red hot Tampa Bay Rays, who are in first place in the American League Eastern Division.
Going into last Friday, the Rays had not lost a series yet this season, but the boys from Beantown were able to put it together to sweep the Rays, letting the rest of the MLB know that they are still the current World Champions. The games were all within two runs, and the team still hasn’t quite hit the offensive explosion that is anticipated, but the pitchers finally seem to be hitting their stride, keeping the games close and allowing the offense to do enough to secure wins in each of the matchups against the Rays.
For game one, Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound for Boston, and through five frames of work, allowing seven hits, three earned runs and struck out six batters. Boston’s bats stayed hot, with right fielder Mookie Betts leading the way with two runs.
On the mound for the Red Sox in their second victory over Tampa Bay was Rick Porcello, who allowed six hits but only two earned runs, while also striking out five batters in five frames of work. The bullpen allowed the Rays to come back, but Boston’s bats kept them alive as Boston closed out game two 6-5.
In game three, David Price took the mound for Boston, and cemented himself as one of the Red Sox strongest pitchers, holding the mound for five innings. In that span, Price allowed five hits, two runs, but struck out 10 batters.
Considering the talent on the roster, top to bottom, it would be hard to imagine this team not getting out of the slump they were in at the beginning of the season. With May quickly approaching, the identity of teams will be determined soon, which makes it crucial for the Red Sox to string together a long span of wins and get themselves closer to the top of the division. After their back–to–back victories against Tampa Bay, who still hold a five-game lead on Boston, the Red Sox will continue to gain ground. The Yankees have also seemed to find their stride, making the climb to the top of the American League East all the more difficult.
The Red Sox followed their sweep of the Rays with a 2-2 split in a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers. Not exactly ideal, but the Red Sox lost both games of a doubleheader to start the series and to come out 2-2 is as good as they could’ve gotten. Boston’s boys went into the weekend with another three-game series against Tampa Bay. Game one was postponed due to weather conditions, but the Rays managed to steal game two from Boston 2-1.
It is important for the Red Sox to come out of the series with at least a win or two over the Rays in order to gain ground in the division. In the upcoming week, the Red Sox will be hosting the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series as the Red Sox hope to get revenge after suffering a couple of losses to the A’s earlier in the season.