After Monday night's 14-inning disaster, the Rays needed to bounce back with a victory against the first-place Boston Red Sox. They did just that, lighting up Jon Lester for seven runs over just 4.2 innings as Tampa's bats stayed red hot.
Roberto Hernandez was on the mound for the Rays with a crucial task given to him in this game. The Rays were counting on Hernandez to pitch deep into the ballgame as their bullpen was totally worn out after Monday night. The veteran sinkerballer delivered a strong start, pitching into the eighth inning (122 pitches, 77 strikes) and posting this solid line: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, James Loney would draw a walk with the bases loaded to make it 1-1. Then in the second, Desmond Jennings began what would be a big night for him with a solo blast to left-center.
RBI singles from Ryan Roberts and Jose Molina gave the Rays a 4-3 lead in the third. Evan Longoria's solo dinger then made it 5-3 in the fourth.
In the fifth, Tampa Bay blew the game open with a pair of longballs. Matt Joyce blasted a two-run shot to the back rows of right field and Desmond Jennings proceeded with a his second solo homer of the night. Jennings went 3-5 in his return to the leadoff spot.
The Rays improve to 35-29 and are now four games behind Boston, 1.5 games behind Baltimore, and two games behind New York.
Coming off an excellent outing in his last start, Chris Archer (1-1, 4.91 ERA) will square off against right-hander Alfredo Aceves (2-1, 6.57) in the rubber match of this three-game set tonight; first pitch 7:10 ET.
News and Notes:
- The Rays placed Alex Cobb on the bereavement list (death in family) and recalled Jake Odorizzi. Cobb will be out for at least three games, but is expected to make his next start, which means that Odorizzi will likely be used in the 'pen.
- Kyle Farnsworth wasn't placed on the DL after leaving Monday night's game with elbow discomfort.
- David Price update: It looks like Price could be back earlier than expected, as his timetable has been moved up to put him on schedule to return by late June.
- DRaysBay takes a look at options the Rays have in the Wil Myers situation.
- Red Sox catcher David Ross made one of the worst throws ever last night.
- In case you missed it, this is what happened last night in LA in the Diamondbacks-Dodgers game.