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Preview: Red Sox at Rays

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 27 2014 01:37:44 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 27 2014 01:37:44 AM CDT

The Tampa Bay Rays seek their 10th straight win and look to further sink the visiting Boston Red Sox when the teams meet in the finale of a three-game series on Sunday. Tampa Bay's 3-0 victory on Saturday ran the club's winning streak to nine, three shy of matching the franchise mark established in 2004. It also sent Boston to its fifth straight defeat to end a day in which the defending world champs began to wave the white flag on their 2014 season.Hours before Saturday's game began, the Red Sox traded away respected veteran right-hander Jake Peavy to San Francisco in exchange for two minor-league pitchers, prompting the call-up of Allen Webster to start Sunday in place of Peavy. Soon thereafter, general manager Ben Cherington acknowledged to reporters that the organization was busy "putting itself in a better position for next year." Tampa Bay's run has pulled it within 6 1/2 games of first-place Baltimore in the American League East, while Boston has fallen 10 1/2 games back.TV: 1:40 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Allen Webster (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Rays RH Chris Archer (6-5, 3.31)Webster was 4-4 with a save and a 3.10 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) for Triple-A Pawtucket this year, ranking among the top eight in the International League in ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched. He owns a 2.62 ERA over his last nine starts and has fanned 74 batters in 78 innings in his last 13 outings. The 24-year-old went 1-2 with an 8.60 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) with Boston in 2013.Archer has kept the ball in the yard at an impressive rate, giving up only five in 119 2/3 innings overall and going 11 of his last 12 starts without serving up a home run. He let up one earned run in 6 1/3 innings to get the win at Minnesota on Sunday. The 25-year-old has a 4.81 ERA in five career starts against Boston but tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in six scoreless innings in his last outing versus the Red Sox on May 23.WALK-OFFS1. Rays LF Matt Joyce is 10-for-25 with six RBIs and five walks during an eight-game hitting streak.2. The Red Sox are 0-5 at Tampa Bay this season.3. The Rays have a 1.33 ERA over the course of the nine-game run.PREDICTION: Rays 5, Red Sox 3

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