Rays-Red Sox Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 24, 2012
After the Tampa Bay Rays found themselves on the verge of falling out of contention last week, they've climbed their way back into the AL wild-card race. Seeking a sixth consecutive victory, Tampa Bay sends Cy Young candidate David Price to the hill Tuesday night as it kicks off a crucial six-game road swing against the Boston Red Sox. Though many were ready to write off the Rays (83-70) after watching them drop seven of eight, they may have gotten hot just in the nick of time. Tampa Bay, which salvaged a four-game home split with Boston (69-85) before sweeping Toronto over the weekend, has hit .356 and outscored opponents 46-13 during its five-game winning streak. "We understand that we've got to go out and win every game," third baseman Evan Longoria, who went 2 for 4 with two RBIs during Sunday's 3-0 win, told the team's official website. "We really don't have any pressure on us. We don't have anybody crawling up our tail, we're just able to focus on the people in front of us." The Rays sit in fourth place in the wild-card standings, trying to track down third-place Los Angeles and second-place Oakland for a postseason spot. With nine games remaining on its schedule, Tampa Bay likely needs to dominate this trek. "This road trip is pretty important, but we're not going to put any pressure on ourselves," outfielder B.J. Upton said after belting his 10th homer in 19 games Sunday. "We're going to have some fun with it and see what happens." The Rays have to like their chances of keeping things going with Price (18-5, 2.58 ERA) on the mound. The left-hander owns the majors' lowest ERA and ranks third with a .783 winning percentage. After missing a start earlier this month due to a sore shoulder, Price returned to throw seven innings of two-run ball during a 6-4 road win over the New York Yankees on Sept. 14. He held the Red Sox to three runs over 7 1-3 innings Thursday before Upton's game-ending three-run homer gave the Rays a 7-4 victory. "I feel good," said Price, who's 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA over six career starts at Fenway Park. " ... I'm looking to go out there Tuesday and try to help us win." The Red Sox counter with Clay Buchholz (11-6, 4.16), who limited Tampa Bay to four hits over seven scoreless innings opposite Price last week before the bullpen came undone. "(Buchholz) was really that good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's so annoying to see him that good. He was that good. He had everything working - two-seamer underneath, cutter going the other way, curveball when he wanted, changeup to both sides of the plate. "He was on top of his game. He was definitely as good as he can be." Winless in his last six starts overall, Buchholz has gone 5-4 with a 2.52 ERA over 13 career matchups versus Tampa Bay, allowing two earned runs or fewer in all but three of those outings. Boston went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position Sunday but snapped a four-game skid with its seventh win in 25 games, beating Baltimore 2-1. This two-game set between the Red Sox and Rays marks Boston's final home series of 2012. The Red Sox have dropped 17 of 24 at Fenway since Aug. 1, posting an AL-worst 5.10 home ERA over that stretch.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker