Boston is back in town for the last meeting between the two teams for the season.
The Rays’ and Red Sox both made some personnel changes before today’s game, with the Rays’ LHP Cody Reed going on the IL and recalling RHP Ryan Sherriff from the alternate training site.
The Red Sox recalled both RHP Dylan Covey and Robert Stock from the Alternate Training Site.
Roberto Clemente Day
For Roberto Clemente Day, MLB players had the option of wearing #21 in honor of the baseball legend. On the Rays’, coach Rodney Linares and catcher Michael Perez wore #21 and the Red Sox’s Christian Vazquez also sporting #21 with some amazing cleats:
Charlie Morton is our player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 10, 2020
Congrats, Charlie! pic.twitter.com/o0f4598ifQ
Josh Fleming looked sharp for the first two innings, with a few strikeouts and lots of groundouts.
In the 3rd inning, Fleming struck out Bobby Dalbec and got Christian Arroyo to ground out to start, but gave up a single to Alex Verdugo and then a hung a slider to Rafael Devers who hit a high HR down the right field line.
2-0 Red Sox.
For the first three innings, the Rays’ bats did not look like they benefited from the day off. The only “offense” came from Manuel Margot, who hit a weak grounder to pitcher Mike Kickham for what looked like a guaranteed out. However, Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec missed the catch and Margot ended on 2nd.
But the baserunner was short lived, as Margot was caught stealing 3rd on a very delayed steal attempt.
Rays had another runner in scoring position as Austin Meadows walked and Mike Brosseau was HBP, but the Rays’ couldn’t capitalize and ended with 0 runs.
Rays Bats finally wake up
In the 4th inning, the Rays’ bats finally awakened as Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Lowe opened the inning with back to back home runs to tie the game at 2.
2-2 game. The Renfroe Home Run was a 109 MPH, 445 foot screamer to the deepest part of the ballpark.
The lead was short lived as Bobby Dalbec continued his impressive streak of homering for now a fifth straight game,
Red Sox take a 3-2 lead. Fleming then gave up a single to Christian Arroyo, and that would it for Josh Fleming.
His final line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, and 5 K
Ryan Thompson came in for Josh Fleming and although gave up a hit, kept the Rays within 1.
Another former Tampa Bay Ray turned Boston Red Sox, Ryan Weber took over for Mike Kickham in the 5th inning, and the Rays immediately took advantage with a Manuel Margot single. Margot stole 2nd base, and FINALLY Meadows bat woke up with a ground rule double.
Tie game at 3.
Ryan Thompson pitched 1.1 innings, but he looked sharp - consistently hitting 94 MPH on his fastball and a hard, Chaz Roesque slider.
Kevin Cash made a few interesting pinch hitting decisions in this game. The only thing I can think of is to make sure everyone gets reps, and to potentially prepare the Rays for a playoff like atmosphere, with Pinch Hit substitutions in 5th Inning - PH Yoshi Tsutsugo for DH Randy Arozarena & PH Ji-Man Choi for 1B Mike Brosseau and the 6th Inning - PH Nate Lowe for C Kevan Smith.
The game would stay tied at 3, until the 7th inning. Peter Fairbanks came in, and opened the inning with a strikeout of Bobby Dalbec.
Fairbanks got into trouble, and gave up a single to Christian Arroyo and a walk to Alex Verdugo. Then Rafael Devers singled home Christian Arroyo to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.
Fairbanks’ line: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
The new high leverage Rays’ reliever John Curtiss’ took over for Fairbanks and only took 13 pitches to sit down the Red Sox side, striking out two and getting another to line out.
Rays had another mini-rally in the bottom of the 9th inning as Manuel Margot ended up at 3rd base with 2 outs and Austin Meadows at the plate. Meadows was able to foul off a few pitches from Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes, but ended up striking out on an absolutely brutal 3rd strike call.
Final: Red Sox: 4, Rays: 3
No Need To Panic
Although the Rays’ are in the middle of a 3-game losing streak, the Rays’ Brandon Lowe says there is nothing to worry about:
#Rays B. Lowe on losing 3 straight, 4 of 5: "There's no reason to start stressing, start freaking out.''— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) September 11, 2020
Here are 5 good things about the Rays’ loss to the Red Sox (h/t to DRB own JT Morgan):
- Loved getting to see Manuel Margot run wild on the basepaths. He went 2-5 with 1 R and 2 SB. Hope he can stay towards the top of the order
- Austin Meadows is starting to get his groove back. Besides the double to tie the game, he also walked twice, mostly against LHP.
- Last year the Rays lost 3+ in a row 7 times on the way to 96 wins. This is the only 2nd time this season the Rays’ have lost 3 in a row. The “lull” has only lasted a week with 2 off days in there.
Rays will try to snap the losing streak tomorrow with LHP Black Snell on the bump against Red Sox pitcher RHP Andrew Triggs.
Gametime is 6:40 PM EST.