Major League Baseball
Preview
Boston at Tampa Bay
When: 7:10 PM ET, Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Mookie Betts had a terrific April and he has been even better in May as his Boston Red Sox visit the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night for the middle contest of a three-game series between the American League East rivals. Betts, who leads the majors with a .368 batting average and 16 homers, is at .395 in May after going 2-for-4 with a three-run blast in Tuesday’s series-opening 4-2 victory.

Betts is 12-for-25 with three long balls during a six-game hitting streak for the Red Sox, who have won five of six overall and eight of 11 against the Rays this season after stranding three runners on base in the ninth inning Tuesday. Boston’s David Price will get the start in Wednesday’s contest versus his former team - against whom he is 4-4 overall - and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer hopes to improve on a 2-12 record and 5.49 ERA against the Red Sox in 20 career games. Shortstop Willy Adames, who was acquired by the Rays from Detroit in the trade for Price in 2015, made his major league debut Tuesday and the 22-year-old prospect went 1-for-4 with a solo homer off Chris Sale. Tampa Bay is 6-2 since getting routed 17-1 at Baltimore, but catcher Wilson Ramos left Tuesday’s game with a left hand contusion and starting pitcher Jake Faria came out of the contest in the third inning with a left oblique strain.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH David Price (4-4, 4.38 ERA) vs. Rays RH Chris Archer (3-3, 5.01)

Price comes in off his first complete game since 2016 and 17th of his career when he limited Baltimore to two runs on five hits and zero walks with eight strikeouts last Thursday. The 32-year-old Vanderbilt product has earned two straight wins after a three-game losing streak - one against Tampa Bay - in which he allowed 19 runs in 17 innings combined. Ramos is 4-for-11 with a homer versus Price, who blanked the Rays in his first two starts of 2018 while yielding seven hits in 14 innings.

Archer registered his first scoreless outing of the season last Thursday, giving up two hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels. The 29-year-old North Carolina native has allowed two or fewer runs in four of his last six trips to the mound after permitting at least four in his first four starts of 2018. Betts is 12-for-34 with four homers and 10 RBIs versus Archer, who gave up four runs over six innings in a no-decision against Boston on March 29 in the season opener.

WALK-OFFS

1. Adames, who is batting .311 at Triple-A Durham, was recalled after INF Joey Wendle was placed on the paternity list.

2. The Red Sox boast 70 homers, a franchise record through 48 games, and have gone deep in 13 consecutive contests.

3. Rays OF Johnny Field had a single in the series opener and is 8-for-19 during a five-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Rays 5, Red Sox 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Boston 33-15 W3 15-7 18-8 21-9 2-1 8-5 2-0
Tampa Bay 22-24 L2 8-11 14-13 8-14 9-3 5-2 0-5
Last Meeting
Boston Tampa Bay
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/22/18 BOS 4 TB 2 .226 2 .753 .194 1 .633
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston X. Bogaerts .421 16 1.242
Tampa Bay M. Duffy .318 14 .780
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston R. Devers 3 4 11
Tampa Bay D. Span 2 5 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 3.56 .247 101
Tampa Bay 4.30 .241 78
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston M. Betts .368 63 1.211
Tampa Bay M. Smith .294 40 .759
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston M. Betts 16 49 35
Tampa Bay C. Cron 11 27 27
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 3.54 .269 483
Tampa Bay 4.39 .263 373