Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox series primer
A strange road trip continues, and more pop from the plate must come. A bizarre swing "away" from home will go on despite the past three games being played at Tropicana Field, and the Tampa Bay Rays must light up the scoreboard more often.
Riddle us this: What happens when the Rays score two or fewer runs?
Recently, that output has almost guaranteed defeat. They've gone 2-4 in their past six games, and they've sputtered to 1-4 in the span when they've failed to reach the three-run threshold. Of course, credit must be given to pitching that has stiff-armed Tampa Bay, with those staffs from the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles stifling Rays hitters. But Tampa Bay must do more to keep their record on the dry side of the .500 waterline.
Still, the Rays should smile at the thought of facing the Boston Red Sox throughout the next three days at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have posted a terrible 5.04 ERA, which is only better than the Colorado Rockies' 5.08 and the Toronto Blue Jays' 5.13.
Illness, meet potential cure.
If there's a chance for a heartbeat to return to the Rays' offense soon, then this will be the time.
Here's a closer look at the upcoming Rays-Red Sox series ...
SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS
Logan Forsythe (Rays): He hit .381 (8 for 21) with two RBI in six games from April 27-May 3. He had four multi-hit games in the span. He has hit .296 with two home runs and 11 RBI this season.
Pablo Sandoval (Red Sox): He hit .478 (11 for 23) with one home run and four RBI in six games from April 27-May 3. He had four multi-hit games in the span, including a 4-for-5 day in a loss to the Blue Jays on April 28. He has hit .326 with two home runs and 12 RBI this season.
David DeJesus (Rays): He hit .050 (1 for 20) with four strikeouts in six games from April 27-May 3. His lone hit in the span came on a single in a loss to the Yankees on April 27. He has hit .241 with one home run and eight RBI this season.
Brock Holt (Red Sox): He hit .071 (1 for 14) with four strikeouts in five games from April 27-May 3. His lone hit in the span came on a single in a victory over the Blue Jays on April 29. He has hit .347 with one home run and eight RBI this season.
2: Consecutive series that the Rays have lost, after they dropped two of three games against the Orioles over the weekend at Tropicana Field. They also lost two of three games against the Yankees from April 27-29.
.178: Rays' batting average during their recent 2-4 span from April 27-May 3. They have produced 10 runs and one home run in the stretch.
6: Strikeouts for Evan Longoria during a 2-for-18 stretch at the plate in five games from April 28-May 3. He has gone hitless in three contests in the span.
"Everyday I worked hard to be good today. It's a nice day for me." -- Right-hander Alex Colome to reporters, after he made his season debut Friday against the Orioles and allowed no runs, three hits and struck out six in five innings during the Rays' 2-0 victory over the Orioles on Friday at Tropicana Field. Colome's debut had been delayed because of his recovery from pneumonia.
"It was pretty even fan wise." -- First baseman James Loney to reporters, after the Rays' loss to the Orioles on Friday. General admission tickets were sold for Tropicana Field's lower bowl after the series was moved from Baltimore because of the riots there.
"It was just one of those nights that the opposition handled us." -- Manager Kevin Cash to reporters, after the Rays' 4-2 loss to the Orioles on Sunday at Tropicana Field. Baltimore outhit Tampa Bay 9-7 and scored four consecutive runs to close.
May 7-10 -- Rangers at Rays