The sky was briefly falling (again) Wednesday after Xander Bogaerts exited Boston's game against the Rays with a tight left quad. Now, though, he's back in action with only a few innings missed, and we can all exit our bunkers for the time being.
|BOSTON RED SOX
|TAMPA BAY RAYS
|Mookie Betts, RF
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B
|Xander Bogaerts, SS
|David Ortiz, DH
|Hanley Ramirez, 1B
|Travis Shaw, 3B
|Brock Holt, LF
|Christian Vazquez, C
|Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
|Starting Pitcher -- David Price
|Starting Pitcher -- Jake Odorizzi
David Price takes the mound against his old team. Again. But this time the original bunch. You may remember him from such moments as those stupid 2008 ALCS relief outings dammit Price why why why and various other appearances throughout the years in a Rays uniform. We are happy he's not wearing that anymore.
Price rebounded from a rough outing against Baltimore with seven strong against the Jays, and the Red Sox need him to provide much the same today as they aim to leave Fenway with a series win and get back over .500, preferably to stay this time. They've only lost one series thus far this year, and that came against a team which started the season on a ridiculous unbeaten streak. The Rays, in contrast to the Orioles, have started 6-8, were only slightly better than Boston last year, and generally seem to be in-between periods of contention.
All that is to say that this is not the time to be dropping a second series, but winning a second. With Price on the mound, and a winning record on the line, these are the games that the 2016 Boston Red Sox have to win if they're going to be different from the disappointing 2015 edition.
So, y'know, go out there and win.
First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.