Boston Red Sox (60-76) at Tampa Bay Rays (66-71), 1:10 p.m. (ET)
09/01/2014 10:45 AM
09/01/2014 10:52 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Maybe, Tampa Bay Rays fans, it wasn't such a bad trade after all.
Drew Smyly gets another chance on Monday afternoon to pitch like the staff ace -- David Price -- he was acquired for when the Rays host the Boston Red Sox in the fourth and final game of a weekend wraparound series at Tropicana Field.
The left-hander came over from Detroit as part of the three-team deal that sent Price to the Tigers, and he's won his last three starts while taking some of the sting away from Tampa Bay followers who'd been upset to see their homegrown ace go.
Smyly was a 3-0 loser in his initial turn with the Rays on Aug. 3, but has since won three straight decisions while posting a ridiculously low 0.88 earned run average and pitching at least seven innings in four consecutive starts.
His most recent work came Wednesday at Baltimore, where he allowed a single run in seven innings of a 3-1 win, surrendering just two hits.
"Certainly the future looks bright for him and Tampa having him in the rotation, but we'll see what baseball longevity has to say," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He obviously has a chance to be a good one. Already is."
In four career meetings with the Red Sox, Smyly is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He beat Boston, 6-2, on June 6 while still with the Tigers.
Boston's Dustin Pedroia remains sidelined after taking a shot to the head at second base during Saturday's game and subsequently suffering concussion-like symptoms.
"We're holding him out for obvious reasons," Boston manager John Farrell said. "We hope this is a short-term thing, but we'll have to go through the normal protocol, and that is continued exams by doctors and making sure that there are no symptoms."
The Red Sox start Rubby De La Rosa opposite Smyly.
De La Rosa is in the midst of a three-start stretch in which his ERA has been 6.46, following an eight-start run in which it was 2.94.
He faced the Rays in his initial start of the season on May 31 and was a 7-1 winner after throwing seven scoreless innings.
Tampa Bay has won just five of 15 games while batting .212 as a team.
On Sunday, Clay Buchholz tossed a three-hit shutout to help the Red Sox dispatch Tampa Bay, 3-0. Buchholz (6-8) surrendered just three hits with six strikeouts and no walks to break a string of three straight losing decisions for his first win since July 18 against Kansas City.
Mookie Betts had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Christian Vazquez and David Ortiz each drove in a run for the Red Sox, who bounced back from having just one hit in Saturday's 7-0 loss to the Rays.
Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Joyce, and Jose Molina each had a hit for Tampa Bay, which has dropped three of its last four games.
Alex Cobb (9-7), who entered the game 7-0 in his last 11 starts, lost his first game since June 23 against Pittsburgh. The right-hander gave up two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames.
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