The Rays faced off against their division rival, the Boston Red Sox under the lights this evening. The Boston lineup included Major League stars such as Jackie Bradley Jr, Kevin Pillar, and the 23 year old infielder, Rafael Devers. Pillar is known for his impressive defensive skills as he seems to compete with Kevin Kiermaier for the Gold Glove award every season. Tonight’s Tampa lineup featured the 2019 All-Stars, Austin Meadows and Brandon Lowe in the 1 and 2 spots respectively. The Rays were shut down early on by the Red Sox left-handed starter, Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez was a 19-game winner last season and he showed why tonight as he collected 10 strikeouts and only 1 walk through 4 scoreless innings of work. He consistently froze the Rays’ hitters as 5 of his 9 punch-outs saw them go down without swinging. It took the Rays 8 innings to finally score a run as Brian O’Grady blasted the first pitch he saw over the right field fence making it a 2-run game. They would only muster that one run though as the offensive woes have continued. Rays’ hitters struck out 15 times tonight including a 3-strikeout day from Yoshi Tsutsugo. He is now 0 for his last 12 with 7 strikeouts.
The young USF Bulls product, Shane McClanahan, started on the bump for the Rays in this evening matchup. McClanahan has an elite fastball that consistently gets into the upper 90s. The Sox still forced Shane to battle in his outing though as he tossed 33 pitches in just 1 1/3 innings. He still held them scoreless as he gave up 2 hits and struck out one batter. Dylan Covey pitched the 3rd inning and gave up 4 straight singles after striking out Rafael Devers. The Red Sox took advantage of the lack of overpowering stuff from Covey to take an early 2-0 lead. He finished his day after throwing 2 2/3 innings and giving up 2 Boston runs on 5 hits. Anthony Banda entered with 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning and the Sox immediately added to their run total after Jackie Bradley Jr recorded his 2nd hit and RBI of the ballgame. Despite a bases-loaded scare, Nick Anderson got his job done in a scoreless 7th inning allowing only one hit and striking out 2 Red Sox. The Rays’ pitching staff kept the Red Sox off the board the rest of the game, but they would still drop this contest by a score of 3-1.