The Red Sox played their first game at the Trop this season, which is uncharacteristic of their typical schedules. Chris Sale got the start, matched up against Rays rookie Jacob Faria, who has made a great first impression with five straight quality starts going into tonight to start his career. Sale was not his usual self to say the least, seven hits in seven innings is not like him. Still, the strikeouts were there, twelve total against the Rays, including striking out the side in the first and third innings. The biggest problem Sale had was with the long ball. The Rays took the southpaw deep twice, in the fifth for one run, and in the sixth for two runs. Logan Morrison and Wilson Ramos were the ones who got to Sale the most, Morrison did not record an out against him, and Ramos drove in three runs against him. Blaine Boyer would come in to pitch the eighth, and he pitched a scoreless frame. For Sale, his next start will come in Miami, pitching for the American League in the All-Star Game. It was one hell of a first half, twelve starts with 10 or more strikeouts is something else. Can’t wait to watch how he pitches down the stretch after the break.
For the second night in a row, the bats could not push across enough runs to keep the game close. Like I said above, Jacob Faria may be the real deal and the Red Sox could not do much against him. Big scare in the first with Xander Bogaerts getting hit by a pitch in the right hand, later being removed from the game because of it. The only run the Red Sox could muster against the Rays came in the top of the third, when Deven Marrero drove in Tzu-Wei Lin on a sacrifice fly, which gave them a 1-0 lead at the time. They had a good amount of opportunities, but could not do anything with them. Jake Odorizzi is pitching tomorrow, and he owns a 5.19 ERA over his last three starts, so the Red Sox should have a good chance to snap out of this two-game rut.
Drew Pomeranz is on the mound tomorrow as well, had a great start last time out int Toronto, could lower that ERA some more in St. Pete.
49 down, ? to go.