After scoring 4 or more runs over their past 8 games, the Red Sox managed to push just one across in today’s loss to the Rays. The sole Boston run came off the bat of Alejandro De Aza with a home run in the 8th inning. De Aza now has 2 HRs in his last 3 games after a homeless stretch of 70 at-bats.
Saturday’s was Boston’s 16th game this season where they’ve scored one run or less. The Red Sox are 2-14 in such games overall. Exactly half of the Red Sox/Rays games this season (4 of 8) have ended with 1 or less Boston runs with the Sox 1-3 in such games.
Wade Miley, who has pummeled the Rays in previous outings going 3-0 with an 0.47 ERA in 3 career starts against Tampa Bay, got through 6.1 IP with just 2 runs allowed on Jake Elmore‘s home run in the 5th. Miley tied his season high for the third time with 8 strikeouts. Matt Barnes, recalled in exchange for Travis Shaw from Triple-A Pawtucket prior to Saturday’s game, had a disappointing outing, allowing 2 home runs in just 1.2 IP.
Six of 7 Rays hits went for extra bases today, including 3 home runs in the game for a 6th time this season. The Astros have the most games with 3+ home runs this season (19). The Red Sox have had 5. Tampa Bay, never the less, entered today’s game averaging just 3.68 runs scored per game, the 3rd lowest mark in the AL. The Red Sox average runs scored has crept up to 4.11, just shy of the MLB average of 4.14.
Despite their 3 HRs, the Rays grip on first place in the AL East is built upon their pitching strength. After the game, Red Sox DH David Ortiz said, “you have to play to win, definitely, but you have to remember that the reason they are in first place is because of their pitching. Those guys have done a good job of stopping offense and we have to figure out how to do what we did yesterday.”
The Rays, wearing “hypothetical” 1979 uniforms on “Turn Back the Clock Day,” won their 10th straight game when facing lefty starters, tying a club record set in 2004. They are now an MLB-best 30-6 when they score first.
The Red Sox have now lost 9 of their last 11 games against AL East rivals.