ST. PETERSBURG AP – The Tampa Bay Rays want to be playing baseball in October and in front of a home crowd this weekend they need to win this three game seies against Boston. Right now the A’s hold the first a AL Playoff spot with the Rays in second and Cleveland right on their heels.
Boston Red Sox (80-72, third in the AL East) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (90-63, second in the AL East)
St. Petersburg, Florida; Friday, 7 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Red Sox: Rick Porcello (13-12, 5.77 ERA) Rays: Charlie Morton (15-6, 3.16 ERA)
LINE: Rays -181; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Tampa Bay’s Meadows puts 16-game hit streak on the line against Red Sox.
The Rays are 38-29 against the rest of their division. The Tampa Bay pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.70, Charlie Morton leads the staff with a mark of 3.16.
The Red Sox have gone 33-36 against division opponents. Boston ranks fourth in the league in hitting with a .270 batting average, Rafael Devers leads the club with an average of .311.
TOP PERFORMERS: Austin Meadows leads the Rays with 32 home runs and has 88 RBIs. Avisail Garcia has 12 hits and is batting .400 over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.
J.D. Martinez leads the Red Sox with 35 home runs and has 97 RBIs. Christian Vazquez is 9-for-27 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Boston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Rays: 6-4, .272 batting average, 4.40 ERA, outscored opponents by 12 runs
Red Sox: 4-6, .224 batting average, 4.69 ERA, outscored by 20 runs
Rays Injuries: Hoby Milner: (back/neck), Yonny Chirinos: (finger), Jose Alvarado: (elbow), Tommy Pham: (eye), Brandon Lowe: (leg), Yandy Diaz: (foot).
Red Sox Injuries: Steven Wright: (toe), Chris Sale: (elbow), David Price: (wrist), Heath Hembree: (elbow), Mookie Betts: (foot), Sam Travis: (head), Dustin Pedroia: (knee), Steve Pearce: (back), Michael Chavis: (shoulder), J.D. Martinez: (groin).