Rays at Red Sox
Daniel Robertson is establishing himself as an everyday performer and has played a big part in the surprising seven-game winning streak for the Tampa Bay Rays. The versatile infielder, who boasts a .507 on-base percentage overall, looks to extend his hitting streak to eight games when the Rays visit the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon for the middle contest of a three-game series.
Robertson is 13-for-27 during his streak and belted his third homer in a 4-3 victory at Boston on Friday while catcher Wilson Ramos launched a two-run blast in the first inning and has hit safely in eight consecutive games (12-for-32). Rookie Yonny Chirinos will try to continue his early success against the Red Sox when he takes the mound Saturday, while former Ray standout David Price goes for Boston. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with ankle injury and recorded three hits for the Red Sox on Friday to improve to 15-for-31 against Tampa Bay this season. Boston’s J.D. Martinez is starting to warm up while going 4-for-8 with a homer and five RBIs in the last two games to improve his batting average to .315 overall.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Yonny Chirinos (0-1, 2.92 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH David Price (2-2, 2.93)
Chirinos has not been as good in his last two starts (eight runs allowed, 10 1/3 innings) as he was in his first two major league starts (10 1/3 scoreless innings, seven hits given up). The 24-year-old Venezuelan struck out a season-high six over 4 2/3 innings while giving up two runs and four hits in a no-decision against Minnesota last time out. Chirinos faced the Red Sox in his first two big-league appearances, yielding four hits across nine scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Price suffered his second loss in three starts last Sunday when he surrendered four runs on nine hits over 7 2/3 innings at Oakland in a 4-1 setback. The 32-year-old Vanderbilt product limited the Rays to seven hits in 14 scoreless innings in two starts to open the season, but has walked 10 batters in his last four outings (20 2/3 innings). Carlos Gomez (0-for-20) and Denard Span (1-for-12) have had trouble with Price, who is 4-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) against his former team.
1. Boston UTIL Brock Holt (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list to make room for Bogaerts.
2. Tampa Bay 3B Matt Duffy (hamstring) returned to the lineup Friday after missing seven games and went 1-for-5.
3. Red Sox RHP Craig Kimbrel, who has given up one run in 11 games, is two saves shy of becoming the 29th player to reach 300 in major league history.