The Red Sox quest to get out of the AL East basement continues this weekend with a series against the 3rd place Rays. While both teams aren't in the mix to compete for the divisional crown like Toronto and New York, they are still playing for slim hopes in the Wild Card race. The big storyline over this road trip for the Sox is slugger David Ortiz and his quest for 500 homers. He's now just two away from reaching the milestone and has quite a bit of success against the Rays in his career. In 233 games, which include the playoffs, Ortiz has 49 home runs against the Rays which is 3rd most against another opponent (Blue Jays 59, Yankees 52).
He'll be facing Chris Archer (12-11 2.88) who has lost his last 4 straight starts against the Red Sox, all coming in Tampa and on June 28th start, Ortiz took him deep for one of his 32 homers. Wade Miley (11-10 4.43) will get the start for the Sox and he's pitched extremely well in Tampa. He's 2-1 with an ERA of 0.98 pitching in the Trop and will look to continue the skid the Rays are currently on at home, losing 4 of their last 6. Both teams come into the series with 6 wins a piece against each other this year and have one more series later this month.
- Evan Longoria is 1/8 career against Wade Miley with 4 strikeouts
- Dustin Pedroia starts on the bench tonight after starting the past two games since returning from the DL
- Xander Bogaerts is hitting .365 in his last 13 games
- Ortiz has hit 6 homers in his last 12 games
Have a question for Mike during the game or whenever a baseball discussion is going on, reach out via Twitter: @86flynn