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SATURDAY GAME NOTES

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Last night the Rays hosted the Red Sox and did a number on the AL East cellar dwellers, and it all began with a choice play by Richie Shaffer.

The young stud has a great attribute in his arm, but that's supported by decent range. He's also a third baseman. Trying to make things work at first base, Shaffer started the game with a diving stop, and a better diving reach back to the bag, sliding in head first to the bag before heralded Mookie Betts could reach.

Later in the game, Chris Archer hit whatever button is "spin" on Madden 16 and got another Red Sox runner.

Archer was magnificent, at one point striking out seven consecutive batters. What a gem. He went only five innings in total, but the bullpen came through. Enny Romero allowed some inherited runs, but Brandon Gomes, the back-from-injury Steve Geltz, the Game-winner Andrew Bellatti, and the closer Brad Boxberger each put up a clean frame for the Rays.

Meanwhile, the Rays offense continued to (finally) be hot, with a gorgeous line up ready to tee off against Wade Miley. That offense would wait to go off, however, until the eighth inning, putting up five runs on the frame.

Today the Rays continue their improbable push for the wild card play in game behind Matt Moore, followed by presumably Nate Karns or Matt Andriese shortly after.

The Starting Pitchers:

PITCHER W L ERA FIP K% BB% AVG HR GS IP
Rick Porcello 7 12 5.12 4.49 19.4% 5.1% .284 23 23 137
Matt Moore 1 3 8.04 5.34 13.2% 9.9% .338 4 7 31.1

Although he didn't strikeout 16 like he did in Durham, Mat Moore pitched rather well considering his disastrous return earlier in the season as he only allowed two runs on three hits in close to five innings on the mound against New York. However, Moore will have his work cut out for him tonight as faces one of the toughest lineups in baseball since the all-star break.

Rick Porcello has been on a nice little run as of late, pitching at least seven innings in his last three starts and four of his last five. His last time out, he went up against the fearsome Blue Jays and came away only allowing four runs (three earned) in just over seven innings and was awarded with a victory.

His splits:

TBF AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB%
vs RHB 280 .278 .321 .425 9 18.9% 4.3%
vs LHB 307 .290 .340 .498 14 19.9% 5.9%

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX TAMPA BAY RAYS
Mookie Betts - CF John Jaso - DH
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Grady Sizemore - LF
Xander Bogaerts - SS Evan Longoria - 3B
David Ortiz - DH Logan Forsythe - 2B
Travis Shaw - 1B Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Pablo Sandoval - 3B James Loney - 1B
Rusney Castillo - LF Steven Souza - RF
Blake Swihart - C Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Jackie Bradley - RF J.P. Arencibia - C
Rick Porcello - RHP Matt Moore - LHP