After completely dominating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game One, the Boston Red Sox have the chance to go up 2-0 in their American League Division Series on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
A day removed from a 12-2 thumping, Rays ace David Price will try to stop the bleeding and earn his second career postseason win, while 12-game winner John Lackey takes the mound in October for the first time in four years for Boston. Lackey's last postseason start was a no decision in the 2009 ALCS with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Sox did most of their damage in a five-run fourth, with a three RBI day for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and two runs each for Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes.
Going just 4 1/3 innings, Rays lefty Matt Moore was tagged for seven earned runs off eight hits and two walks, and threw four strikeouts. The Tampa bullpen also struggled in the eighth, with reliever Jamey Wright surrendering four earned runs and two walks on 30 pitches.
Boston’s Jon Lester pitched a masterful 7 2/3 innings, spreading out three hits and two earned runs with seven strikeouts. The eight-year veteran is now 3-3 in seven postseason starts, and only threw two errant pitches that resulted in home runs by Rays leftfielder Sean Rodriguez and second baseman Ben Zobrist.
Tampa’s offense, which was fourth in on-base percentage and 11th in runs scored in the majors, didn’t look like the squad that won nine of their last 11 games to make the playoffs.
Price’s last start came in Monday’s 5-2 victory over Texas that earned the Rays their third playoff berth in four seasons. The lefty pitched a complete game, giving up two earned on seven hits and one walk. He’ll face the best offense in baseball, headlined by Ortiz, who hit .293 for six home runs and 10 RBI in September.
The Rays will need much more out of statistical leader Evan Longoria. The third baseman went 0-for-2 with a walk in in Game One.
The game begins at 5:37 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast by TBS, or watch their live online stream at the channel’s official website here.
Betting Odds: Tampa Bay favored by 1.5 runs
Over/Under: 7.5 runs
Prediction: Tampa Bay 5, Boston 4
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