Boston Red Sox look forward acquiring Tampa Bay Rays pitcher

Red Sox and Rays rematch following a thrilling 12-inning game

 

On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox will play the second game of a four-game series against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, hoping to build on their walk-off victory in 12 innings.

The first two games of the set have been shared by both sides. With a powerful single down the first-base line on Tuesday, Romy Gonzalez gave Boston a 5-4 victory.

It was a worthwhile one. About the victory, Red Sox manager Alex Cora remarked, “It took a lot.”

Tanner Houck (3-4, 2.24 ERA) of Boston will try to build on his strong start to the season on Wednesday. In each of his eight starts, the 27-year-old right-hander has pitched at least five and a third of an inning; seven of those have been excellent starts.

Since his complete-game shutout against Cleveland on April 17, though, Houck has lost his last four starts.

After an all-around performance on Tuesday that saw Nick Pivetta pitch into the sixth inning, the final four relievers combining to allow one unearned run, and Ceddanne Rafaela hit a home run, Houck will seek to lead Boston.

Rafaela leads the Red Sox and all MLB rookies in RBIs with 23, and he is also a versatile defensive defender in the outfield and infield.

“To be honest, he’s legit,” Cora stated. “We knew it coming into the season.”

Houck gave up three runs in seven innings pitched against Washington on Friday, but still ended up losing. The game was decided by three hits with runners in scoring position after two outs.

“Chalk it up as finding a hole, seeing-eye singles,” Houck said. “Try not to beat yourself up too much about it, but it definitely stings.”

In his five career appearances (three starts), Houck is 0-3 versus Tampa Bay with a 7.47 ERA.

Following a 10-hit performance in Monday’s 5-3 series-opening victory, Tampa Bay was only able to muster eight hits in Tuesday’s 12-inning contest. Josh Lowe homered along with Isaac Paredes, Amed Rosario, and Josh Lowe, who each had two hits. Randy Arozarena also had two hits.

In the first game of the series, Rosario drove in three runs.

First baseman Yandy Diaz of the Rays stated on Monday, “I think the bats are starting to produce a little bit, and thank God we were able to do that.”

The Rays had won five straight games before suffering their fourth defeat in six games on Tuesday.

Following his initial stint on the injured list due to a right pectoral strain, 23-year-old right-hander Taj Bradley (0-1, 1.50) will get the ball for the Rays in his second start of the season after New England native Aaron Civale took the mound for the first time as a big leaguer on Tuesday.

On Friday, Bradley had a great start to the season, striking out seven batters in six innings of one-run ball. However, the New York Yankees defeated him 2-0 without providing any run support.

The way Taj threw the ball (in his first start), I could not be more impressed, Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Bradley struck out fifteen in two rehab outings for Triple-A Durham before making his way back to the big league team.

In his rookie season of 2023, Bradley started and won twice versus Boston, recording 14 strikeouts in 10 innings with a 4.50 ERA.

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