Rays Granted Permission by Major League Baseball to ‘Explore Possibility’ of Playing Split-Season Between Tampa Bay and Montreal

Per ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan, the Tampa Bay Rays have been granted permission from Major League Baseball’s executive council to look into playing their home games at two different venues in the same season. The plan would involve earlier home games taking place in the Tampa Bay area before the rest are played in Montreal, Canada.

Major League Baseball confirmed this news in a tweet earlier Thursday.

The specific number of games played in each city has yet to be determined, Passan notes, but new stadiums would be built in both Tampa Bay and Montreal.

The Rays’ current lease with Tropicana Field runs through the 2027 season. Back in December, at the baseball winter meetings in Las Vegas, principal owner Stuart Sternberg announced that plans to build a new ballpark in the neighboring Ybor City would not be finalized, meaning that aforementioned lease would seemingly run its course.

But, with this most recent announcement, it appears that the Rays’ brass believes that a two-city approach is the best way to preserve Major League Baseball in that part of Florida.

As things stand right now, Tampa Bay, despite sporting the fourth-best record in the American League at 43-31, are pulling in an average of 14,545 people per home game, the second-worst attendance mark in all of baseball.

The team’s 2019 Opening Day payroll of just over $62 million was one of the lowest among the 30 clubs as well.

The idea of bringing baseball back to Quebec has long been there, that much is clear with how a pair of exhibition games hosted by the Toronto Blue Jays has been played at Olympic Stadium since 2014.

Last homing a Major League Baseball team in 2004, before the Expos were relocated to Washington, D.C., Montreal has been clamoring to get the sport back on a full-time basis.

Although that does not seem to be the case at the moment, it will be interesting to see how these discussions pan out and when they will come into effect. Stadiums take a decent amount of time to build, so I can’t imagine the Rays will be playing any of their home games outside of the Trop anytime soon.



Red Sox Give up Four Home Runs, Go 1-For-13 with Runners in Scoring Position in 6-1 Loss to Rays

After coming away with a split in a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, the Red Sox were not able to split their four-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, as they fell to their divisional foes by a final score of 6-1 for their third defeat in as many days.

Making his 13th start of the season for Boston to close out the weekend was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered Sunday having never won any of his previous seven outings against the Rays.

Pitching his way into the sixth inning of this one, the left-hander surrendered four runs, all of which were earned, on seven hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the afternoon.

Right from the jump, it appeared that Tampa Bay had Rodriguez all figured out, with the first four hitters they sent to the plate all reaching safely sans Tommy Pham trying to extend a wall-ball single into a double and getting snuffed out by Sam Travis.

Still, an RBI knock from Brandon Lowe and a sacrifice fly from Travis d’Arnaud two hitters later gave the Rays an early two-run advantage before the Red Sox had even taken their first at-bats.

In the second, more was tacked on to that lead, with Guillermo Heredia mashing a one-out, 433 foot shot off Rodriguez on a 2-1 86 MPH cutter to make it a 3-0 game.

Fortunately for Boston though, the Venezuela native settled in for a bit, retiring 11 of the next 12 Rays he faced up until the beginning of the sixth.

There, the home run ball bit Rodriguez yet again, this time with Brandon Lowe leading things off with his first of two home-runs on the day. This one, coming off a first-pitch 92 MPH fastball, was deposited a whopping 455 feet into the center field bleachers to put Tampa Bay ahead 4-1.

Allowing two of the last four hitters he faced to reach on a pair of free passes, Rodriguez’s outing came to an end with an eight-pich walk of Christian Arroyo.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 101 (62 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler relied on his cut and two-seam fastball a combined 55% of the time he was on the mound Sunday, inducing four total swings and misses with the combination of pitches. He also topped out at 94.3 MPH with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 18 times with Sandy Leon behind the plate.

Falling to 6-4 with his ERA on the season jumping up to 5.00 on the dot, Rodriguez’s career struggles against the Rays continue. He’ll look to put this particular outing behind him in his next time out, which should come against the Baltimore Orioles this Friday.

In relief of Rodriguez, Heath Hembree came on with runners at first and second and one out to get in the sixth, and he filled the bases by plunking Heredia with a 94 MPH fastball before fanning pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi on five pitches to escape the jam and keep it at a three-run game.

From there, Marcus Walden managed to only record one out to start out the seventh, as he served up a pair of solo shots, one being a leadoff piece from Yandy Diaz, and the other being a 435 foot missile off the bat of Lowe, that gave the Rays a 6-1 advantage.

Colten Brewer was able to clean up the mess Walden left behind in that seventh inning while also tossing a scoreless eighth.

Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, did the same by working his way around a one-out double in an otherwise clean ninth to keep his team within the five runs they trailed by.

On the other side of things, the right-handed Red Sox lineup was matched up against ace left-hander Blake Snell for the Rays, who held Boston to a total of three runs over the four starts he made against them during his Cy Young Award-winning campaign in 2018.

And as those numbers from last year indicate, it was more of the same from Snell on Sunday.

The lone run the Sox got off him came in their half of the second, when with one out and Sam Travis and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the corners following back-to-back leadoff singles, Marco Hernandez stayed hot in his second start since returning from the injured list by driving in Travis with a line-drive RBI single to left field.

The opportunities to tack on more than one run were present throughout, but the ability to capitalize on said scoring chances was not. That much is evident by how the team went 1-for-13 (.008) with runners in scoring position and left a total of nine men on base. Not ideal, really.

Key run-scoring chances that came up empty include Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez being stranded in scoring position in the first after getting there with no outs, Xander Bogaerts leading off the sixth by reaching second on a fielding error and not scoring, Sandy Leon and Hernandez occupying first and second with one out in the seventh and being stranded there, and Bogaerts reaching first on a five-pitch leadoff walk against Oliver Drake in the eighth and not scoring either.

Fittingly enough, when the Red Sox were down to their out in the ninth with Leon 90 feet away from home after he got on with a one-out single, Mookie Betts struck out looking on a 1-2 95 MPH fastball from Rays lefty Adam Kolarek, and that was how this 6-1 loss came to a close.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox’ 7-9 hitters on Sunday (Bradley Jr., Leon, Hernandez): 6-for-12, one double, one RBI, two strikeouts.

The Red Sox’ 1-3 hitters on Sunday (Betts, Vazquez, Bogaerts): 1-for-11, two walks, four strikeouts.

Marco Hernandez’s return to the majors so far: 4-for-9, two doubles, three RBI.

Michael Chavis in June: .182/.229/.273, zero home runs, three RBI, 17 strikeouts.

So, including the five runs they scored in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Red Sox pushed across a total of nine runs against the Rays in four games over the weekend. They lost three out of four of those.

Next up for the Sox, they’ll continue their eight-game homestand by welcoming the 34-30 Texas Rangers into Fenway Park for the first and only time this regular season on Monday.

For the opener in what looks to be a fascinating four-game set, it will be a pitching matchup featuring two of the better left-handers in the American League this year in Texas’ Mike Minor and Boston’s Chris Sale.

In his second of a three-year pact with the Rangers, Minor has surpised many in 2019, as he’ll come into the week with a 2.55 ERA through his first 13 starts this year.

Over five prior outings (three starts) at Fenway Park, the 31-year-old is 0-3 with a lifetime ERA of 4.19 in 19.1 total innings pitched.

Opposite Minor, Sale is coming off his best start of the season in his last time out against the Kansas City Royals, fanning 12 and tossing an immaculate eighth inning in his first complete game shutout as a member of the Red Sox.

In 14 career games (10 starts) against the Rangers, the Florida native is 7-2 with a 2.28 ERA over 73.1 total innings of work.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT. Red Sox looking to start something.

David Price Fans 10 over Six One-Run Innings, Marco Hernandez Collects Two RBI in First Start Since 2017 as Red Sox Split Doubleheader with Rays in 5-1 Victory

After dropping the first contest of their day-night doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays earlier Saturday, the Red Sox bounced back a few hours later, salvaging the twin bill with a 5-2 win in the night cap.

Making his 11th start for Boston was David Price, fresh off a quality outing against the Yankees where he was also tasked with stopping a losing streak.

He got the job done then, and the same can be said for what was done Saturday, as the left-hander yielded just one earned run over six innings, scattering five hits and two walks to go along with 10 strikeouts on the night to tie a season-high.

Relatively speaking, Price breezed through his first four frames of work. That much is evident by how he retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced. Once this one reached the fifth inning though, well, that’s where things got interesting.

A four-pitch walk of Willy Adames, followed by a balk that allowed Adames to take second and put Tampa Bay’s second base runner of the night into scoring position with no outs for Mike Zunino, who advanced said runner 90 feet to third by grounding out to first.

On the very next pitch thrown by Price with Kevin Kiermaier at the plate, the speedy outfielder nearly drove in his team’s first run on a dribbler up the first base line, but a solid tag from Christian Vazquez, who received the ball from Michael Chavis, on a sliding Adames prevented that from happening. The play was challenged by Tampa Bay, but it was not overturned.

Still with one out to get in the fifth, back-to-back hits from Christian Arroyo and Guillermo Heredia did plate the Rays’ first run of the evening, with Heredia driving in the aforementioned Kiermaier on an RBI double.

That would be all the damage given up by Price in the inning, but the Rays almost struck again in the sixth, loading the bases in between recording the first two outs of the inning for Kiermaier.

Already with some impactful hits under his belt in this series, Price did not let his one-time teammate beat him this time around, as he got Kiermaier to pop out to shallow center field on the seventh pitch of an at-bat loaded with drama to keep the Rays off the scoreboard and end his outing on a positive note.

Finiashing with a final pitch count of 103 (64 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler relied on his two-seam fastball nearly 42% of the time he was on the mound Saturday. With his changeup, a pitch Price threw 25 times, he induced nine swings and misses. And with his four-seamer, a pitch thrown 17 times, he topped out at 94.6 MPH while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Improving to 4-2 while also lowering his ERA on the season down to a rotation-best 2.70, Price certainly appears to be on track to earn his first All-Star appearance as a member of the Red Sox later this summer. He’ll look for win number five in his next time out, which should come against the Texas Rangers next Thursday.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen held things down in nearly perfect fashion, with Brandon Workman tossing a 1-2-3 seventh, Marcus Walden working his way around a one-out double in an otherwise clean eighth, and Matt Barnes committing a throwing error of his own in a two-strikeout ninth to secure the 5-1 win for his team.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a bullpen game for the Rays, and it began with right-hander Ryne Stanek, who recorded the first four outs of this contest before departing with runners on first and second in the bottom half of the second.

Colin Poche, making his big league debut, was inserted and managed to get out of the jam by retiring Jackie Bradley Jr. and Marco Hernandez in consecutive order, but the Boston bats did get to him an inning later.

It started with back-to-back leadoff singles from Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, as well as back-to-back strikeouts from Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, which led to Rays manager Kevin Cash going back to his ‘pen with a right-handed bat in Michael Chavis due up next for Boston.

So, in came Austin Pruitt, having never faced Chavis before, and perhaps the rookie took advantage with that lack of familiarity by swinging at the first pitch he saw from the Tampa Bay reliever, an 87 MPH slider on the bottom half of the strike zone, and ripping a two-run double off the Green Monster to drive in both Betts and Benintendi for his side’s first two runs of the evening.

Fast forward to the fifth, and it was the top of Boston’s lineup getting things done once again, with Betts reaching base on another leadoff double, advancing to third on a Benintendi groundout, and coming in to score on an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Xander Bogaerts. 3-1.

And in the sixth, making his first start at second base in more than two years, Marco Hernandez came through with the bases loaded by lacing another two-run double off of Pruitt, with this one also deflecting off the left field wall to plate Chavis and Holt for his first two RBI of the year.

That two-bagger, Hernandez’s second of the day, put the Sox ahead 5-1, which would go on to be the final score in Game 2 of the doubleheader Saturday.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Stats:

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the series finale against these same Rays Sunday afternoon.

For the finale, it will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers, with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the ball for Boston and Blake Snell doing the same for Tampa Bay.

Last making a start at Fenway Park on May 15th, Rodriguez (6-3, 4.88), will come into Sunday having given up just a total of three earned runs in his last two starts combined.

In seven career starts against the Rays, the 26-year-old owns a lifetime 6.42 ERA over 33.2 innings pitched.

Snell (3-5, 3.68 ERA), meanwhile will be making his first start against the Red Sox this year after capturing his first ever Cy Young Award in 2018.

In three prior starts at Fenway Park, the southpaw has posted a 4.50 ERA while averaging six innings per outing.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT. Red Sox looking for the series-split before welcoming the Texas Rangers into town.



Red Sox Fall Flat Against Ryan Yarbrough in Second Straight Loss to Rays

After seeing their four-game winning streak come to an end on Friday night, the Red Sox dropped their second straight to the Tampa Bay Rays in the first of a day-night doubleheader Saturday, falling back to 33-31 on the year.

Making his second start and fifth overall appearance this season for Boston was Josh Smith, who was recalled from Triple-Pawtucket to serve as the club’s 26th man for Saturday’s twin bill.

Working his way through the fourth inning of this one, the right-hander surrendered four runs, all of which were earned, on seven hits, one walk, one HBP to go along with three strikeouts on the afternoon.

All four of those Tampa Bay runs came in their half of the second, with Travis d’Arnaud blasting a two-out, three-run home run to put his team on the board first, and Brandon Lowe following that up with an RBI single three batters later to make it a 4-0 game.

From there, Smith only faced the minimum six hitters over his final two frames, with Sam Travis making a fantastic diving play in left and Jackie Bradley Jr. snuffing out Yandy Diaz at second to retire the side in the third.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 83 (49 strikes), the 31-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball nearly 35% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.5 MPH with the pitch while Sandy Leon was behind the plate.

Since he was Boston’s 26th man in this one, Smith will be returned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

In relief of Smith, Colten Brewer walked three in a one-run fifth, Mike Shawaryn punched out three and hit two over a scoreless sixth and seventh, and Ryan Brasier sat down the only three hitters he faced in a 1-2-3 eighth to set up Josh Taylor in the ninth.

Only trailing by a reasonable three runs entering the inning, Taylor seemingly let this contest get away from the Sox, as he yielded six singles, allowed four earned runs, and faced all nine Rays hitters before finally escaping the inning with his team now down 9-2.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who came into Saturday with a 6.23 ERA through eight outings (three starts) so far this season.

Despite what those numbers may say,Β  Yarbrough, like Yonny Chirinos the night before, was essentially lights out, limiting the Boston bats two just two runs on the day.

That first run came courtesy of Sam Travis in the bottom half of the second, when with Christian Vazquez at third following a fielding error that allowed Eduardo Nunez to reach base safely, the 25-year-old ripped a 2-0 changeup from Yarbrough through the middle of the infield, plating Vazquez and getting his team on the board.

Fast forward all the way to the eighth, after the Rays starter retired 16 of the preceding 18 Red Sox hitters he faced, Jackie Bradley Jr. broke out of a 2-for-20 skid by mashing his fifth home run of the season, a 427 foot shot off Pesky’s Pole that at the time cut the Rays lead down to three runs.

And although they didn’t stage an epic comeback in the ninth in what would turn out to be a 5-2 loss, it was really cool to see Marco Hernandez back on the field and picking up his first base hit in over two years.

Remember, the 26-year-old underwent surgery on his left shoulder in November of that year and just got back to being able to participating in baseball activities this spring.

He was activated from the 10-day injured list Saturday and went ahead and ripped a double in his first big league at-bat since May 3rd, 2017.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this day-night doubleheader later on Saturday.

Left-hander David Price will be getting the start against his former team for Boston, while right-hander Ryne Stanek will serve as the opener for Tampa Bay.

First pitch of Game 2 is scheduled for 6:10 PM EDT. Red Sox turning to David Price for an important outing yet again.


Rick Porcello, Red Sox Have No Answer for Yonny Chirinos in 5-1 Loss to Rays to Snap Four-Game Winning Streak

Coming off a 4-2 road trip that was capped off by a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals, the Red Sox entered the weekend with the chance to gain some serious ground in the American League East, and they came out completely flat in their first go at it, falling to the second-place Tampa Bay Rays by a final score of 5-1.

Making his 13th start of the season for Boston was Rick Porcello, whose June struggles continued after taking the loss in New York last Saturday.

Tossing six full innings in this one, the right-hander yielded four runs, all of which were earned, on eight hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts on the night.

Issues arose for Porcello beginning in the second, where after working his way around a two-out double in a scoreless first, Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi led things off by blasting his sixth home run of the season, a 394 foot shot to the Red Sox bullpen to put his team on the board first.

Retiring the next six Tampa Bay hitters he faced following that mishap leading into the fourth, a pair of back-to-back leadoff singles from Brandon Lowe and Avisail Garcia, as well as a wild pitch from Porcello, put runners in scoring position without an out yet to be recorded in the inning.

It did seem as though Porcello was going to be able to get out of the jam by sitting down the next two batters without allowing either runner to advance, but a poor 3-2 slider to Kevin Kiermaier changed all that, as the speedy Tampa Bay outfielder ripped the 85 MPH pitch through the right side of the infield, plating both Lowe and Garcia in the process of making it a 3-0 game.

From there, the New Jersey native made his way through another shutout frame in the fifth before giving up three more singles, one to Garcia, one to Choi, and another one to Kiermaier, who put his team ahead by four by driving in Garcia from third on an RBI base knock to left in the sixth, which would wind up being being Porcello’s final inning of work.

Finishing with a final pitch count of exactly 100 (68 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 45% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing three swings and misses with the pitch while topping out at 93.4 MPH with it while Sandy Leon was behind the plate.

Falling to 4-6 with his ERA on the season jumping up to 4.86, Porcello will look to turn around his month of June thus far in his next time out, which should come against the Texas Rangers next week.

In relief of Porcello, left-hander Josh Taylor maneuvered his way around a leadoff single from Austin Meadows in what would turn out to be an otherwise seventh inning before making way for Mike Shawaryn in the eighth.

Making his big league debut eight days after being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, Boston’s 12th-ranked prospect picked up his first career punchout in a perfect eighth and also served up his first home run to the aforementioned Kiermaier in a one-run ninth where he struck out the side after.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against 25-year-old right-hander Yonny Chirinos, who has been used as both a starter and reliever by Tampa Bay this season.

Entering the weekend with just three prior appearances at Fenway Park since the start of last season, Chirinos flat out dominated Friday, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning by retiring the first 15 hitters he faced in order.

A leadoff walk drawn by Brock Holt in the sixth broke the perfecto up, and a single off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. two pitches later broke up the no-no.

Following a change that saw Christian Vazquez pinch-hit for Sandy Leon and fly out to right, Mookie Betts found his way to first by drawing another free pass off Chirinos, and just like that, the Red Sox had the tying run at the plate in the form of Andrew Benintendi with two outs to work with.

Unfortunately though, both Benintendi and Devers after him whiffed, meaning Chirinos got out of the jam unscathed, and he was clearly happy about it.

That, as you may have already guessed, was the best chance for Boston to get back into this contest, because they didn’t score again until Chirinos had already gotten through eight shutout innings and they were down to their last three outs in the ninth.

There, with right-hander Emilio Pagan in for the Rays, a pair of doubles from Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts drove in their first run with one out in the frame, but nothing more came out of it and this one ended with a final score of 5-1.

Some notes from this loss:

Mitch Moreland departed from Friday’s game in the seventh inning due to right quad tightness hours after he just returned from the 10-day injured list. He is presumably day-to-day.

Rick Porcello has given up 14 runs (12 earned) on 25 hits over his last three starts going back to May 27th.

Xander Bogaerts in June so far: .375/.407/.750 with two homers, three doubles, and four RBI.

Mookie Betts’ June: 3-for-23 (.130) with one double, one homer, and two RBI.

Next up for the Red Sox, it doesn’t get an easier with a day-night doubleheader set for Saturday.

In the first of the two contests, it will be a pitching matchup featuring both a left-handed and right-handed pitcher, with southpaw Ryan Yarbrough getting the ball for Tampa Bay and righty Josh Smith getting the ball for Boston.

Smith is not yet on Boston’s roster, so he will serve as their 26th-man for Saturday only.

And in the doubleheader finale, it will be David Price getting the start for the Red Sox while the Rays have yet to name a starter themselves.

First pitch for each game is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT and 6:10 PM EDT respectively.

Although the Red Sox may have lost Friday, at least we got this moment between Brandon Workman and his son.



Chris Sale Strikes out Eight over Seven Innings as #RedSox Get Swept by Rays

Exactly one month into the 2019 regular season, the Red Sox have yet to win a series at home following a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, marking their second consecutive defeat to the current leaders of the American League East.

Making his sixth start of the season in this series finale after not pitching in Tampa Bay last weekend was Chris Sale.

Working the first seven innings Sunday for the first time this year, the left-hander surrendered four runs, two of which were earned, on four hits and a season-high three walks to go along with eight strikeouts on the afternoon.

Similar to David Price’s outing the day prior, it was the top of the Rays lineup giving a Red Sox starter a difficult time yet again, this time with Yandy Diaz doubling to lead off the first and Daniel Robertson launching a one out, two-run homer over the Monster two batters later to give Tampa Bay the early advantage.

Entering Sunday, Robertson was just 12-for-71 at the plate to begin the season without a home run.

An inning later, Diaz got to Sale once more in a situation that could have been avoided had Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fielded a ground ball off the bat of Willy Adames.

Instead, Adames reached safely, as did Guillermo Heredia, who drew a one out walk earlier in the second.

After striking out Christian Arroyo on three straight pitches for the second out of the frame, the Rays leadoff man ripped a line drive triple that had the chance to be caught by Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, but instead landed just out of the outfielder’s reach and two more Rays runs came around to score. 4-0.

Things were not looking all that great from there for the Red Sox, but from the beginning of the third inning on, Sale showed flashes of his 2018 self, retiring 12 of the final 16 hitters he faced to end his day on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final season-high pitch count of 111 (72 strikes), the Florida native topped out at 94.1 MPH with his four-seam fastball while averaging around 92 MPH with the pitch.

In terms of pitch variety, Sale relied heavily on his slider with Christian Vazquez catching him Sunday. According to Baseball Savant, he threw 52 sliders compared to 36 four-seamers while inducing six swings and misses with the heater.

Now sporting an 0-5 record on the season, Sale will look for his first win in his next time out, which should come against his former club in the Chicago White Sox next weekend.

In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen had the responsibility of keeping their team within striking distance over the final two innings of this one.

Marcus Walden got the call for the eighth, and he sat down the only three Rays hitters he faced in order while working in relief for the second straight day.

Heath Hembree, meanwhile, was responsible for the ninth, and he would wind up being charged with an unearned run due to Michael Chavis’ first real defensive miscue at second base.

This happened following an Avisail Garcia leadoff double, a Mike Zunino strikeout, and an intentional walking of Kevin Kiermaier.

With a potential double play in play, Guillermo Heredia grounded into a force out at second recorded by Chavis on a ball that was fielded by Xander Bogaerts at short.

However, when attempting to make the throw over to first, Chavis aired one out way over the head of Mitch Moreland, which allowed Garcia to easily score from second and make it a three-run game.

The Red Sox’ top prospect was charged with his first career fielding error as a result.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another familiar opponent in Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow, who allowed two earned runs in less than six innings in his last start against Boston on Easter.

Similar to that last outing, the former Pittsburgh Pirates hurler was dominant yet again to start this one off, holding Boston scoreless over the first five innings while sitting down 14 of the first 17 hitters he faced in this one.

It wasn’t until their half of the sixth when the Red Sox finally got on the board, and that came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mitch Moreland to drive in Christian Vazquez, who led the inning off with a single, from third and make it a 4-1 contest.

In the eighth, the aforementioned Michael Chavis continued on with his power surge by mashing his third home run of the season, a one out, 441 foot shot to dead center off Glasnow to cut the Rays’ deficit down to two.

The Red Sox threatened again in the inning thanks to a Jackie Bradley Jr. two out double that put an end to Glasnow’s day, but were unable to score again.

The same can be said for the eighth and ninth as well, with Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo tossing a scoreless frame each to finish off the sweep for the Rays and another disappointing afternoon for the 2019 Red Sox.

Some notes from this 5-2 loss:

From FOX’s Mike Monaco, on the last seven home runs Michael Chavis has hit at Triple-A Pawtucket and the major league level:

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

From the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato:

It’s been tough. the Red Sox currently stand at 11-17 and after this weekend are eight games back in the loss column for first place in the American League East.

Just when you think this team is about to go on a nice run and win a few games, they roll over and play like they been these past two days.

There are still 134 games remaining in the regular season. Still time to figure things out, but it doesn’t get any easier with the pesky Oakland Athletics coming into town for a three-game series to wrap up this homestand.

Losers of their last three after getting swept by the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend, the A’s took three out of four from Boston the last time these two clubs met earlier this month.

For the series opener, it will be a pitching matchup featuring right-hander Frankie Montas for Oakland and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez for the Red Sox.

First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.

David Price Impresses with Six Quality Innings but #RedSox Manage Only One Run in Frustrating Loss to Rays

After rain postponed their initial series opener on Friday, the Red Sox officially welcomed the Tampa Bay Rays into town for the first time Saturday, and unlike last weekend, things did not get off to that great of a start.

Former Ray David Price made his fifth start of the season for Boston in this one, and he delivered yet another quality performance, which probably goes down as one of, if not the only bright spot for the Red Sox Saturday.

Working six full innings, the left-hander yielded two earned runs on four hits and three walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the evening.

Given the way things began with Rays leadoff man Yandy Diaz taking Price deep on the second pitch of the game in the first, it certainly looked as though it could have been much worse.

But, despite the home run and the five-pitch walk that followed it, the 33-year-old settled in nicely and retired the next eight Tampa Bay hitters he faced before running into more trouble in the fourth.

There, the top of the Rays order gave Price more fits, with Tommy Pham leading off the inning with a double and Daniel Robertson drawing a walk to put a pair of runners on with still three outs to get.

After needing six pitches to strike out Avisail Garcia, Rays backstop Mike Zunino would be the one to break this one open, as he ripped a line drive RBI double to left field on a 1-2 88 MPH changeup from Price to give his team a 2-0 lead.

The Rays would threaten again thanks to a Kevin Kiermaier RBI single moments later, loading the bases with just one out in the inning, but Price pulled through and kept them off the board by striking out Guillermo Heredia and getting Willy Adames to ground into an inning-ending force out at third base. Damage limited.

From the top of the fifth on, the Tennessee native ended his outing on a more positive note, sitting down five of the final six hitters he opposed to lower his ERA down to 3.60 on the season.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (57 strikes), Price turned to his changeup 32% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing nine swings and misses with the pitch. He also topped out at 94.5 MPH with his four-seam fastball.

The recipient of the bad luck losing decision to fall to 1-2 on the year, Price’s next start should come against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field sometime next week.

In relief of Price, the Red Sox bullpen was nearly perfect over the final three innings on Saturday to keep the Rays within striking distance. Brandon Workman recorded the first two outs of the seventh before walking two straight and making way for Marcus Walden, who retired the side in the inning while also getting the first two outs of the eighth.

Similar to Walden, Colten Brewer came to relieve Walden with one runner on and one out to get. He did just that, but did not come back out for another frame of work in the ninth.

That inning belonged to Matt Barnes, who needed just nine pitches to sit down the only three hitters he faced to keep it a one-run contest.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Rays right-hander Charlie Morton, who they got to for five runs last Saturday. This time around, it was a different story for both sides.

With JD Martinez a late scratch due to back spasms, the Red Sox were held to just one or fewer runs for the sixth time already this season.

Morton held them to just two hits while also walking four and hitting another over the first six innings of this one, but the Boston bats could not take advantage of any early run scoring opportunities.

It wasn’t until the eighth when the Sox finally got on the board, and that came when Mookie Betts led the inning off against new Rays reliever Diego Castillo with his fifth home run of the season. A 406 foot shot to center field to make it a 2-1 game.

Five batters and two outs later, with Jose Alvarado now pitching for Tampa Bay and the bases now loaded for Boston, Jackie Bradley Jr. came to the plate with the chance to be a hero.

Entering Saturday with a lifetime .300 batting average against Alvarado in 10 career at-bat’s, Bradley Jr. got the count in his favor twice at both 2-1 and 3-2, but came up swinging and missing on a 92 MPH cutter low and away to end the inning and any chance at a rally.

An inning later, a Christian Vazquez leadoff single off righty Emilio Pagan gave a brief glimmer of hope with the tying run on base and the top of the Red Sox lineup due up, but a las, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Mitch Moreland all went down in order, capping off another disappointing defeat for the defending World Series champions.

Some notes from this loss:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Since being activated from the injured list on April 4th, Steve Pearce is slashing .114/.184/143 with no home runs and one RBI so far this season.

Jackie Bradley Jr., meanwhile, currently has an OPS of .399.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to bounce back in the final game of this series on Sunday afternoon.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow is slated to get the start for Tampa Bay, while Chris Sale will do the same for Boston.

Last time out on Easter, Glasnow limited the Red Sox to two runs in 5.1 innings pitched in a game the Rays would eventually drop.

Sale, on the other hand, has yet to receive the winning decision in any of his first five starts of the year. Even stranger, Red Sox are 0-5 in those games started by their ace.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN.