Where: Fenway Park, Boston
When: 5:37 PM, ET – TBS
Series record: 1-0, Boston
The Tampa Bay Rays have faced quite an uphill battle in their march to the 2013 postseason.
After essentially being forced to win three straight win-or-go-home road games, the Rays earned the right to take on the Red Sox and understandably came out a bit flat footed in the series debut.
Boston’s powerful offense let loose on the Rays and starter Matt Moore en route to the Red Sox’s 12-2 victory, but all isn’t lost for Tampa Bay. After all, it was just one game, no matter how lopsided the score turned out to be.
In a five game series, Game 2 always turns out to be a pivotal turning point. One team either takes a commanding 2-0 series advantage or you head into a travel day with a tied series, making it a best of three. That’s the hope of the Rays, who with a win in Game 2 will steal home field advantage and return to Tampa Bay in the drivers seat.
On the flip side, for Boston, a victory today puts a choke hold on the series, putting them a single win away from the American League Championship series. Hoping to do just that will be Red Sox’s starter John Lackey (10-13, 3.52) who has struggled against the Rays this season. In two starts, Lackey was bombed for nine runs in ten innings, good for a eye popping 8.10 ERA. However, if there is any saving grace, Lackey has been nothing short of dominant at Fenway Park, posting an impressive 2.47 ERA at home.
Opposing Lackey will be Tampa Bay ace David Price, who unlike Lackey, has dominated his opponent this season. Price has started five games against Boston this season, posting a 2.48 ERA in nearly 33 innings against the Red Sox. Price has been even better at Fenway, starting three games in Boston with an impressive 1.21 ERA in the process.
The former number one overall pick pitched the Rays into the postseason in Tampa’s Game 163 victory and now he hopes to pitch them out of a potential 0-2 series deficit.