The Red Sox look to get back on track with winning games again. The Yankees and Blue Jays are trying to gain ground in the division. The Rays look to stay put in first place. Let’s see what happened over the weekend and what’s to come this week in the American League East.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays pitching staff was pretty lucky that their offense was able to come from behind in almost every game. They sent Ryan Yarbrough on the mound to start against the O’s. He went five innings and gave up five runs. The Rays ended up tying the game in the 6th inning. Nelson Cruz hit his 22nd home run of the season and went 2-for-6. Wander Franco went 2-for-5 and Manuel Margot went 3-for-4 with a walk. The Rays then scored five in the 8th inning to win 10-6.
Shane McClanahan went seven innings and gave up three runs. Yandy Diaz, Cruz, Brandon Lowe, and Franco all homered. Lowe and Cruz went 2-for-5. Joey Wendle when 3-for-5 and scored four runs. The Rays won 12-3.
The Rays completed the come from behind sweep against the O’s. Michael Wacha pitched five innings and gave up five runs. Austin Meadows went 2-for-5 and hit his 21st home run of the season. Brett Phillips hit two home runs in the game with one of them being a grand slam. He went 2-for-4. They won 9-6.
Can we interest you in a @Brett_Phillips8 go-ahead GRAND SLAM? pic.twitter.com/UCEwZW1ah9 — Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 8, 2021
The Rays look to keep adding on to their lead over the Red Sox in Fenway this week. Luis Patino is the only named starter for the series so far. The Rays then head to Minnesota to face the Twins.
BOSTON RED SOX
When the starting rotation isn’t doing great, relying on one guy is really unfair. That guy for the Red Sox was Nathan Eovaldi. And when you rely on a guy so much to help ease the bullpen use, a fifth-inning can be disastrous. Eovaldi was cruising along keeping the Jays scoreless until the 5th inning. In the 5th, he gave up 7 runs. Eovaldi is the kind of pitcher you know can get out of jams even after tying the game.
That said, it was obvious that the Jays had his number at some point and I will never understand why managers start to warm up someone when it seems like it is too late. By the time Hansel Robles was brought in, the Jays had taken a healthy lead. Even for an offense like the Red Sox, that can be discouraging.
They added two more runs off of Robles and three more off of the rest of the bullpen. This included Jonathan Arauz pitching an inning and gave up one run in the 8th. The offense scored four runs. Hunter Renfroe hit his 18th home run of the season. Sox lost 12-4.
Saturday’s doubleheader against the Jays started with bad news. J.D. Martinez was placed on the COVID-19 IL with flu-like symptoms. He joined Jarren Duran on the list waiting for the test results. The first game of the doubleheader ended as quickly as the inning game. Nick Pivetta had a no-hitter going through four innings. In the 5th inning, he gave up a hit but not before Kevin Plawecki got the game’s first hit in the top of the 5th. Arauz got the second hit for the Sox. Matt Barnes came into the 7th to pitch and try to bring the game to the 8th inning but Semien ended the game on a walk-off home run on the first pitch. Sox lost 1-0.
Game two was a bit better for the Sox. Tanner Houck went 3.2 innings and gave up the only run the Jays scored. Alex Verdugo went 3-for-4 and hit his 11th home run. The Sox tied the game in the 6th and took the lead in the “extra inning”. Sox win 2-1.
What seemed like a good win for the Sox turned into a heartbreaker. Garrett Richards went five innings and gave up four runs. Martinez was cleared to join the team and had a 4-for-5 day with 3 RBI. Duran also returned and went 2-for-5. Plawecki went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Hirokazu Sawamura got two outs after relieving Josh Taylor. In the 7th, Sawamura had to leave due to an injury. Adam Ottavino replaced him and both runners inherited scored. Barnes then replaces Ottavino after Breyvic Valera gets on with a hit. After walking Reese McGuire, Springer hits a 3-run homer to take the lead. The Sox lost 9-8.
The Sox looks to get revenge on the Rays and be within one of first place in the standings. After a much-needed day off, Eduardo Rodriguez, Eovaldi, and TBD are scheduled to pitch. The O’s come into town over the weekend where