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Tuesday, 14 May 2013 22:44

Red Sox-Rays Preview

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  The Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox are a tale of two teams heading in different directions. The Rays have won five straight games heading into the series. The Red Sox on the other hand have lost eight of 10 after starting the season 20-8. 

The Rays pitching has been the difference in the club turning things around. Their bullpen, which blew six of its first 10 save opportunities and had an AL-worst 5.19 ERA prior to their five game winning streak is pitching much better. During the Rays winning streak, the bullpen has posted a 1.15 ERA with 18 strikeouts. The Rays bats have always woken up after their struggles the first month of the season.

The Rays are averaging 6.4 runs in their last 14 games. Third baseman Evan Longoria is batting .422 with three homeruns and 12 RBIs so far in May. Second baseman Kelly Johnson is also swinging the bat well hitting .361 with two homeruns and 11 RBIs for the month. 

The Red Sox come into the series struggling. They have averaged 3.3 runs in their past 11 games. In their last two games, the Red Sox are 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position and 3-for-37 in the past three games.

The Red Sox ERA during the first month of the season was 3.58 ERA, but so far in May it’s 4.76. Even the starters’ ERA has gone from 3.24 in April to 4.54 in May.

This marks the beginning of a nine-day road trip for the Red Sox. With the Yankees in first place, we will see if the club can turn it around.

First pitch for Tuesday's game is set for 7:10 eastern from Tampa.