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Final-11 3 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 R H E
Boston0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 470
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  W: D. Castillo (4-8)   L: T. Kelley (0-3)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 20, 2019
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 17,117

Rays step up wild-card push against Red Sox

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. Since losing the first three meetings this season, the Rays have gone 9-3 against the Red Sox with four straight wins. Tampa Bay set a franchise record with eight wins this season at Fenway Park, but is 1-5 at home against Boston.
  2. The Rays return home for a six-game homestand after completing a 4-4 road trip with Wednesday's 8-7, 11-inning win over the Dodgers. Tampa Bay has won five straight home games for the fourth time this season and is 10-1 in its last 11 at Tropicana Field.
  3. This is the start of a seven-game road trip for the Red Sox, who avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-4 win over the Giants on Thursday. Boston has won four of six after a five-game skid but will be eliminated from the wild-card race with one more loss or a Tampa Bay win.
  4. Charlie Morton, Friday's scheduled starter, tries for his career-high 16th win after he won 15 games in 2018. Morton's .575 opponent OPS at home is second-best in the AL (Cole, .541) and his 2.74 ERA at home is third-best in the AL among qualified pitchers. Morton is tied for fourth in MLB with 44 wins since the start of 2017.
  5. After hitting .358 (39-for-109) in July, Rafael Devers is batting .261 (46-for-176) since the start of August. His next home run will be his 31st of the season and would break a tie with Butch Hobson for most ever by a Red Sox third baseman.
  6. Austin Meadows brings a career-high 16-game hitting streak into this series. He's batting .407 (24-for-59) with eight homers and 19 RBI during that run, the longest active streak in the majors and the longest by a Rays player this season.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/20/2019 thru 9/23/2019

The Tampa Bay Rays are in a three-team race for the American League's two wild-card playoff berths.

But the road for the Rays (90-63) is decidedly tougher than that of their wild-card competitors, the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. The opponents' winning percentage for the Rays the rest of the way is .535, while the Indians face teams with a .483 winning percentage and the Athletics' opponents are playing .441 ball.

The Rays will open a four-game series against the reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox on Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"We've got to win," outfielder Tommy Pham told reporters. "We've got to play that right now is important. You never know when you're in this situation again."

Pham tied a franchise record with five hits Wednesday, and Austin Meadows hit a deciding home run as the Rays rallied to beat the host Los Angeles Dodgers 8-7 in 11 innings to maintain their hold on the second wild-card berth.

The Rays are two games behind Oakland and are level with Cleveland, which beat the Detroit Tigers 7-0 on Thursday.

"We were playing on the West Coast, so you recognize that Oakland had a day game (Wednesday) and we saw that they walked off Kansas City, and Cleveland, obviously watching that, it looked like it walked off Detroit," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "So we needed to find a way, (and) we did. It's going to go down to the wire, but it's nice when the other two teams you're competing with win, it's really nice when we win."

And a victory against the Dodgers, who lead the National League with 98 victories, provided another boost.

"Just shows that we can compete with those guys and we can compete with anybody out there," Meadows told MLB.com. "We're going to continue to prove that and go into the homestand with some motivation and get some wins."

The Red Sox (80-72) avoided playoff elimination with a 5-4 victory at home Thursday against San Francisco, with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez earning his team-high 18th victory.

Right-hander Rick Porcello (13-12, 5.77 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Red Sox in the series opener against Rays right-hander Charlie Morton (15-6, 3.16). Porcello is 14-12 with a 3.67 ERA in 31 career starts against the Rays but 0-2 in three tries this season. Morton is 5-1 with a 4.26 ERA in eight career starts against Boston, including 2-0 in four games this season.

A day after Red Sox left-hander David Price was shut down for the season, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said second baseman Michael Chavis might be in the same situation.

Chavis was expected to return this weekend, but he experienced more discomfort in his right oblique.

"We'll talk about it in the upcoming days, but I don't think that's moving where we thought it would go," Cora said. "He was looking good early in the week, and (then) he felt soreness. If that's the case, we're probably going to shut him down."

Chavis hasn't played for the Red Sox since Aug. 11, first because of a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder and then because of the oblique, which he injured while on a minor league rehab assignment. In 95 games this season, the rookie is batting .254 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs.

Mookie Betts, who has missed the past week with inflammation in his left foot, should return for the Red Sox this weekend, while J.D. Martinez, who has sat out the past two games with tightness in his left groin, is considered day-to-day.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 19, 2019

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