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Tampa Bay (65-70, 36-33 Road)
Boston (59-75, 29-40 Home)

Rays-Red Sox Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

  1. This will be the first meeting of 2014 between these AL East rivals. The Red Sox went 12-7 versus Tampa Bay last year, posting their first winning record in the series since 2007 (13-5).
  2. The Rays lost to the White Sox in Chicago on Monday, 7-3, falling for the fifth time in their last six games. After opening 7-5, the Rays are 4-10 since April 13, tying for the lowest winning percentage (.286) in the American League over that span (Seattle and Houston).
  3. After taking the first two games at Toronto this weekend, the Red Sox missed an opportunity to get back to .500 when they dropped the finale on Sunday, 7-1. With a record of 12-14, the Red Sox have not been at .500 since they were 2-2 on April 4.
  4. In his last start (April 24), Erik Bedard suffered his first loss of 2014, lowering his record to 1-10 since the beginning of last July. His ERA is 9.39 over his past two outings.
  5. After beginning his career by winning nine of his first 10 decisions against Tampa Bay, John Lackey is just 3-6 with a 7.43 ERA versus the Rays since 2009. That 7.43 ERA is the highest by any pitcher against the Rays since '09 (minimum 30 IP).
  6. David Ortiz has clubbed 43 home runs and driven in 143 runs in his career against the Rays. The 143 RBI are tied with Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez for the most ever versus Tampa Bay.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/29/2014 thru 5/1/2014


STATS Editor

(AP) -- Chris Archer has had an up-and-down season so far after signing a six-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays worth $25.5 million.

Archer, who has been dominant in his two home starts but spotty on the road, will try to help the struggling Rays end a three-game skid as they continue a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

While Archer (2-1, 4.11 ERA) has gone 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in a pair of starts at home for Tampa Bay (11-16), he's 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in his three road outings.

After he impressed in his first road start April 8, working seven innings in Tampa Bay's 1-0 win at Kansas City, the right-hander has allowed 11 earned runs over 11 innings in his previous two away from home.

Archer struggled in his only career start at Fenway last season, giving up four runs on five hits with five walks over 4 2-3 innings of a 5-1 loss June 8, and he doesn't want to let this AL East rivalry get the better of him.

"I have to consciously control it, because I don't want the emotion of the rivalry (to affect my performance), because they're our biggest rival," Archer, who has walked 13 in 13 2-3 innings over three career starts against Boston, told the Rays' official website. "I don't know if we're theirs, but that's irrelevant. They're our biggest rival."

In his most recent start, Archer allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings of a 9-6 loss to Chicago White Sox on Friday.

After the Rays went 7-12 against Boston last season, including 4-6 at Fenway, the Red Sox opened this year's 19-game series with a 7-4 victory in Tuesday's opener.

Shane Victorino had four hits and his first two RBIs of the season, and John Lackey pitched eight strong innings in Boston's third win in its last four games.

Victorino, activated from the disabled list last week after missing the first 22 games with a hamstring injury, raised his batting average from .133 to .316. He singled three times, hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and had an RBI double in a five-run sixth.

"We knew it was going to take a couple of games for him to get his feet on the ground," manager John Farrell said. "He does give us a completely different dynamic in that 2-hole. When we can set the table for that middle of the order, we've got a chance to score some runs."

Looking to give Boston (13-14) another strong start after Lackey's performance will be Felix Doubront (1-3, 6.00), who was hit hard by the New York Yankees his last time out.

The left-hander lasted only 2 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs - three earned - in Boston's 14-5 loss Thursday to the Yankees, who have handed Doubront two of his losses.

"It was bad, man. I couldn't get my job done," Doubront told the team's official website. "Probably (a) loss of concentration, that's what happened. It was terrible."

Doubront went 0-2 with a 2.55 ERA in four starts against the Rays last season, getting a total of two runs of support in the 24 2-3 innings he pitched.

He lost the last two, both at Fenway, after allowing five earned runs over 11 2-3 innings as David Price shut down the Red Sox in each meeting.

Updated April 30, 2014

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