The Red Sox were able to knock David Price out of Sunday’s game, but they dropped another one to the Rays anyway, leaving them just two games up in the wild card standings.
The Rays, who were nine games back on Sept. 3, beat the Red Sox for the sixth time in seven games this month.
Aiming for win No. 201, Tim Wakefield gave up three runs in the second and another in the fourth, putting Boston in a big hole. Still, there was hope for the Red Sox. After taking a Mike Aviles liner off his chest in the third, Price struggled in the fourth, giving up two runs, and then left as a precaution.
Unfortunately for Boston, the pitching staff wasn’t able to hold the Rays offense in check afterwards. Wakefield allowed two more runs in the fifth and Andrew Miller gave up two in the seventh. The Red Sox came back with three of their own in the seventh, making it 8-5, but that was the end of the scoring for the day.
In the end, the Red Sox lost despite outhitting the Rays 8-7 and collecting the game’s only homer, a three-run shot from Mike Aviles. Aviles and Darnell McDonald actually drove in all of Boston’s runs, as the big bats came up empty.
The Rays got three hits and three RBI from Matt Joyce, plus two hits and a steal from Desmond Jennings.
Both the Red Sox and Rays have 10 games left. Seven of Boston’s are against the Orioles, with a three-game series in Yankee Stadium sandwiched in between. The Rays will play the Yankees seven times, with their weekend series coming against the Blue Jays.
The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.
Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.
Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.
The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.