American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 31 (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (59-76) at Tampa Bay Rays (66-70), 1:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Clay Buchholz (5-8, 5.77) Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (9-6, 3.06)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Here we go again, maybe.
A rhubarb between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays that cooled when Rays pitcher David Price was traded could begin again as the teams meet Sunday afternoon in game three of a four-game series at Tropicana Field.
Boston's Dustin Pedroia was forced from Saturday's game with concussion-like symptoms after he was clipped in the head by the arm of Rays infielder Logan Forsythe while diving into second base with aims at advancing on a fly ball.
The Tampa Bay camp insisted no malice was intended.
"He's got some symptoms that are consistent with a concussion," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He's improved as the night has gone on here; (he's) not as dizzy as he was when he first came off, but we'll take every precaution necessary with Dustin."
The pitchers Sunday -- Boston's Clay Buchholz and Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb -- are reprising a matchup from Game 3 of last year's American League Division Series, when both allowed three runs in a game ultimately won by the Rays, 5-4.
The Red Sox won the series to eliminate the Rays and ultimately won the World Series.
Cobb is unbeaten in his last 11 starts this season, winning seven decisions and getting within one of equaling the eight-start run embarked upon by Matt Moore to begin 2013. Cobb has allowed two or fewer runs in nine consecutive starts -- a franchise record -- including a four-inning outing on Tuesday in which he threw 92 pitches in a game the Rays lost, 4-2.
He's 2-2 in seven regular-season meetings with the Red Sox, with a 4.19 earned run average, and his ERA since the All-Star break -- 1.42 -- is tied for the best in the majors.
Buchholz, on the other side, is near the bottom of the big leagues with a 6.31 in that same stretch, and is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA over his last seven starts. He allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings on Monday and got a no-decision in a game Boston won, 4-3, at Toronto.
Against the Rays in the regular season, he's strung together 13 straight scoreless innings.
On Saturday, Jake Odorizzi tossed seven dominant innings of one-hit ball, while Ben Zobrist drove in two runs, and Tampa Bay shut down Boston, 7-0. Odorizzi (10-11) fanned seven and walked three over his 103-pitch outing, helping his club win for just the second time in their last six.
Jeff Beliveau and Kirby Yates finished off the shutout with consecutive scoreless frames.
Brandon Guyer finished with two hits and scored twice for the Rays, with James Loney, Logan Forsythe and Ryan Hanigan each driving in a run.
Allen Webster (3-3) was tagged in the loss for six runs and five hits with three walks over four-plus frames for the Red Sox, who couldn't maintain momentum from an 8-4 win in Friday's series opener.
08/31 10:21:11 ET