With an 11-run, 16-hit outburst Monday night, the Boston Red Sox emerged from an early-season offensive slump. They will attempt to repeat the feat Tuesday against one of the game’s most talented aces.
Tyler Glasnow takes the mound for the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the three-game series. The right-hander was nearly untouchable on Opening Day, allowing just one hit and striking out six Miami Marlins over six shutout innings.
The Red Sox were held to five runs while getting swept at home in three games by the typically moribund Baltimore Orioles to begin the season. They never led in any of the contests. In Boston’s series-opening blowout Monday, however, J.D. Martinez hit a three-run home run off the right field foul pole, Xander Bogarts had four hits and Franchy Cordero and Alex Verdugo each drove in a pair of runs.
“It was a good one,” Boston manager Alex Cora said after the first victory in his second stint with the club. “After a disappointing weekend, and having the defending American League champs here, it was good. Now we’re in position to win the series; we have two shots. Hopefully we can come (Tuesday) and do the same thing.”
The setback for the Rays ended an eight-game winning streak at Fenway Park. Tampa Bay had been 13-1 in Boston dating back to August 2018.
The Rays were held scoreless Monday until Manuel Margot and pinch hitter Yandy Diaz drew back-to-back walks with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Tampa Bay has dropped two straight games after winning two to start the year.
The first of those victories saw Glasnow show signs of his 2019 form, when he posted a 1.78 ERA over 12 starts. He missed three months that season with a forearm strain. Glasnow was 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 11 starts last year, but he rarely looked as impressive as he did against the Marlins last week.
“Looked like an Opening Day starter,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Looked like an ace. Fortunate that we’re going to get to see him pitch a lot more.”
Glasnow struggled against the Red Sox in 2020, allowing nine runs on 14 hits in 11 innings (7.36 ERA). For his career, he is 2-1 with a 4.68 ERA in six starts against Boston.
Left-hander Martin Perez will start for the Red Sox on Tuesday in his season debut. Perez is back for his second campaign with the club after going 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts last year.
Perez faced Tampa Bay three times in 2020, finishing 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. None of his victories on the season came at Fenway Park (0-4, 5.46 ERA).
Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier could be unavailable Tuesday after exiting Monday’s contest in the third inning with left quad tightness. Cash described the ailment as “concerning” given issues the 30-year-old dealt with in the same area during spring training.
The three-game series will conclude with a Wednesday afternoon contest.
–Field Level Media