The Tampa Bay Rays hope their second road trip of the season turns out better than the first.
The Rays open a 10-game trip Monday, starting with a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox. The Rays went 0-5 on their first trip of the season, which took them to Atlanta and Baltimore.
The Rays and Red Sox both had walk-off wins on Sunday.
Mitch Moreland’s two-run, two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Boston a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the rubber match of the three-game series.
The Rays had a game-ending RBI single by Michael Perez to defeat the New York Yankees 4-3 for their third win in the four-game series.
“I don’t think anybody here believes we’ve played our best baseball,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “But we’ll certainly take the series that we just had against New York and maybe get us going in the right direction.”
The series win for the Red Sox was their first of this season.
The teams split two games when the Red Sox visited the Rays last week.
“They’re a good team,” Moreland said after the game Sunday. “We kind of have to take this momentum into the next series. They’re going to be tough. We need to be ready to roll and put a good series together against those guys.”
Cash felt that the first trip was “quite the learning experience” as major-league teams deal with restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of differences, which we knew, but maybe you don’t appreciate as much until you actually go through it,” he said. “Now that we’ve gone through it, hopefully our next trip we’re going to be better equipped, better prepared and have a better mindset of what we’re getting ready to take on.”
The Rays will start left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (0-2, 3.78 ERA) on Monday. The Red Sox are expected to go with an opener in a bullpen game but have not named who will open. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said that right-hander Colten Brewer (0-0, 2.57) would likely be among the pitchers used.
Boston right-hander Ryan Weber, who started against Toronto on Friday, was optioned to the club’s alternate training site and right-hander Dylan Covey was recalled.
Yarbrough allowed five runs in five innings Wednesday in taking the loss against the Red Sox.
He is 3-2 with a 5.36 ERA in 10 career outings (four starts) against the Red Sox. He is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five appearances (one start) at Fenway Park. He has won each of his past three appearances at Boston dating to April 28, 2018.
The Rays placed right-hander Oliver Drake, one of their more dependable relievers, on the injured list with biceps tendinitis on Sunday.
They also recalled right-handed reliever Ryan Thompson, selected the contract of right-hander John Curtiss and activated outfielder Manuel Margot, who had been on the bereavement and then COVID-19 injured list (for intake testing) following the death of his father and a trip home to the Dominican Republic.
They also designated for assignment catcher Kevan Smith and left-handed reliever Sean Gilmartin.
Rays starter Charlie Morton left the game Sunday in the third inning with right shoulder inflammation. He said after the game that he did not feel that he would miss much time because of the issue.
–Field Level Media