Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox game preview

TV: FOX Sports Sun

TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 1 p.m.


BOSTON — Two pitchers bouncing back from arm trouble hook up when the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox play the third of their four-game series at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Tampa Bay Rays on FOX Sports Sun

Alex Cobb, making his way back from Tommy John surgery, worked 7 1/3 innings his last time out as he continues his comeback from the injury that cost him most of 2014 and ’15. He continues to show signs he’s back.

For Boston, Drew Pomeranz, who came Boston from the San Diego Padres with a medical report on his elbow questionable enough for the Red Sox to be asked if they wanted to reverse the trade, had a forearm problem that landed him on the disabled list during spring training. But he returned last week and pitched strong six innings in beating the Baltimore Orioles.

Cobb will be making his first start at Fenway since Sept. 23, 2014, when he held the Red Sox to just one run on five hits and two walks over seven innings. He was with the Rays in Boston last year but didn’t pitch.

“When I came back and I was in this locker room last year, it was like the beginning stages,” Cobb said Saturday. “I didn’t realize how far of a journey I’d have to go. I think that’s nice that I didn’t realize, because it would have been defeating for me mentally.

“Hopefully we’re closer to the end of that than I was back then. You’re always still working on getting better.”

Cobb’s 7 1/3 innings at Yankee Stadium wasn’t enough to get him a victory as he came out of the wrong end of a decision on a day when New York’s Michael Pineda flirted with a perfect game.

Pomeranz struck out seven and walked in his 2017 debut, hitting 95 mph on the radar gun early in the game. Remember, he was an All-Star in the National League last year before being traded to Boston.

“I felt pretty good today,” Pomeranz said after his first career victory at Fenway. “I don’t know comparatively, but that’s the best I’ve felt in a long time — put it that way.”

Cobb is 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox, all of that pre-surgery, and is 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA in four career starts at Fenway Park.

The current Boston roster has one home run — by Mitch Moreland while with Texas — in 67 at-bats against Cobb.

Pomeranz is 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA in five appearances — four starts — against Tampa Bay and struck out 11 Rays in a game last Aug. 25.

The current Rays roster is hitting a collective .213 against Pomeranz, but second baseman Brad Miller is 6-for-13 with a home run.

Tampa Bay (6-6 with four losses in its last five games) opened this series by hitting four home runs off reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello in a 10-5 win — Boston’s second terrible performance by a starting pitcher in three games. But Chris Sale got his first win with his new team in a 2-1 decision Saturday.

Moreland homered and had three hits in the win — the homer was just the fifth for the Red Sox (6-5) in 11 games.