Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox Open A Huge Series Tonight At The Trop

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays open a huge three game series tonight with the American League East leading Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field.  The Rays are happy to be home after a very forgettable west coast road trip that saw them go a woeful 3-7 and put themselves in a very tough playoff spot.

Tampa Bay trails the Red Sox by 7.5 games and they are 2.5 games out of the first AL Wild Card spot behind the Texas Rangers and the Oakland A’s.

Meanwhile, the Rays are attempting to hold off a herd of teams that want to take the final AL Wild Card spot away from them. At the moment Tampa Bay is holding that final playoff spot with the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians hanging just 1.5 back. They’re followed very closely by the New York Yankees just three games back and the Kansas City Royals at four games behind the Rays with 20 games left to play.

The Rays will be sending their ace to the hill tonight in David Price with a record of 8-7, 3.51 ERA. He will face the Clay Buchholtz who takes to the mound with a perfect 9-0, 1.71 ERA record. There will be a rocking house tonight at the Trop, and winning this series at home against Boston would be huge for the Rays.

Tonight Price comes into the game after allowed six runs on 11 hits to the Los Angeles Angels Thursday as he picked up his seventh loss. At home this season Price is 2-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 10 starts at Tropicana Field this year.

But Price has been great against Boston this season, as he is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in four starts.

Meanwhile, Buchholtz makes his long-awaited return from a right bursa sac strain. He was pitching as well as anyone in the game before his injury. This is his first start since June 8, and the Rays are hoping that he has a little rust on him today.

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven time Emmy Award winning producer, director, and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc or join his circle at Google + 

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