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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, July 27 (All times eastern)

Boston Red Sox (47-57) at Tampa Bay Rays (51-53), 1:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Allen Webster (0-0, 0.00) Tampa Bay - Chris Archer (6-5, 3.31)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Still two games under .500 and 6 1/2 games off the pace in the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays have given hope to the fans over the last couple of weeks thanks to their nine game win streak. Today the Rays try to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field.

With a couple of three-game sets against Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Angels coming up in the next week, the Rays have an opportunity to balance the scales at home where they are currently 24-28. The team closed the gap in that department a little bit more on Saturday when the squad blanked Boston in a 3-0 decision.

Tampa Bay scored single runs in the first, fourth and seventh innings in order to claim the win. Ben Zobrist delivered his eighth home run of the season, while Matt Joyce and Kevin Kiermaier each plated one in the victory as well.

"It was really hard to drive the ball off [John Lackey]," said Zobrist. "We scratched and clawed and got a few knocks and were able to push some runs across."

Jeremy Hellickson made the start for the hosts, making it through 4 2/3 innings as he surrendered five hits and a couple of walks, while striking out five. Grant Balfour ended up with the win, his first, and Jake McGee the save, his 11th.

Over on the other side, Lackey was saddled with the loss after permitting three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits and four bases-on-balls. Lackey made it through seven innings and fanned four before exiting.

The Sox came up with eight hits, but the only one for extra bases was a double by David Ortiz. There was even a question as to whether or not the Ortiz shot to right field should have been a home run as a Boston fan reached over the railing to snag his fly ball. The fan was eventually ejected and Ortiz was one of 20 runners left on base by Boston.

"That was a homer. That was a home run," Ortiz said. "I don't care what they say. That was a homer. They [messed] up on that one right there. But I watched the whole replay -- that was a home run. They say the guy reached over. The guy, he reached over, but the pressure of the ball pulled him down. That ball was going to be over the yellow line over there."

The Red Sox have now lost five in a row, are 10 games under .500 on the road (21-31) and all alone in last place in the AL East, 10 1/2 games out of contention.

Off the field on Saturday, the Red Sox made a major change to their roster when they sent former National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for a pair of minor league pitchers, Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree. Peavy was a mere 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 outings for Boston this season.

A clear issue for Peavy was the lack of run support, with the right-hander being supplied with just 2.76 runs per outing, second-lowest among all AL starting pitchers.

The Red Sox also recalled pitcher Allen Webster from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, so that he could make the start in Sunday's series finale. The right-hander was 1-2 with an 8.60 ERA over eight appearances (seven starts) last season with Boston.

In 21 appearances for the PawSox this season, Webster generated a record of 4-4 and a 3.10 ERA.

Also putting a relative youngster on the mound, Tampa Bay has Chris Archer countering today. The right-hander has won his last two decisions and three of the last four, thanks to a strong effort versus Minnesota last weekend.

Against the Twins, Archer allowed just three runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a couple of walks, while striking out four over 6 1/3 innings.

Now in his third major league campaign, all with the Rays, Archer has a record of 1-2 with a 4.81 ERA in five career appearances versus the Sox.

07/27 10:26:10 ET

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
NBA
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
 
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
3rd
MEM 71
DEN 47
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
CHI
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
 
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
 
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
 
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
 
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
2nd
CIN 48
UCONN 35
 
2nd
NDST 38
DEN 39
 
2nd
SD 47
MAST 64
 
2nd
UWMIL 50
ILLCH 47
 
2nd
BEL 83
JVST 56
 
2nd
SMISS 46
MARS 66
 
2nd
TXSA 56
MTST 52
 
2nd
PETE 37
RIDE 37
 
2nd
SEMIZ 51
SIUE 59
 
2nd
TENST 58
TENT 50
 
2nd
NDAK 54
WEBER 56
 
2nd
SALA 60
LALAF 60
 
2nd
ARKST 38
ARKLR 37
 
Half
TROY 31
LAMON 21
 
2nd
TXARL 42
UGST 39
 
1st
MURST 19
EKENT 15
 
1st
NCOL 30
IDST 29
 
1st
MIZZ 15
KENT 16
 
1st
GONZ 20
PORT 19
 
1st
UTEP 18
UAB 25
 
1st
GRCN 22
UMKC 15
 
1st
WLVRN 19
CHIST 14
 
1st
USC 2
COL 6
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
CSNO
HAW
 
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PEPP
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
SCU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCSB
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
UTAH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSFU
LBSU
 
10:30pm Tonight
GAELS
LMU
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
CAL
11:00pm Tonight
BYU
USF
 
2nd Intermission
NYI 2
BOS 5
 
3rd
NYR 0
MON 1
 
3rd
PHI 4
WIN 2
 
3rd
TOR 1
ARI 1
 
3rd
FLA 2
CLB 2
 
3rd
TAM 5
DET 1
 
2nd
STL 3
NAS 2
 
1st
CAL 0
MIN 1
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
ANA