The Red Sox will play the middle game of their series with the Rays on Wednesday night when Anthony Ranaudo pitches against Jake Odorizzi.
Despite a quality start against the Pirates last Tuesday, Ranaudo (3-3, 5.29 ERA) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs over 5 2/3 innings at PNC Park. The home run ball did Ranaudo in, as he allowed a two-run homer to Russell Martin in the second inning and then a solo blast to outfielder Starling Marte in the sixth. The latter home run ended Ranaudo’s night.
Ranaudo has served up 10 homers this year, accounting for 14 of the 19 runs he’s allowed through his first six major league starts. The right-hander said after his latest outing that he needs to change is his pitch selection more.
“I think it’s continuously mixing my pitches better and understanding the strike zone and just being more consistent with my pitches and understanding what some of these hitters’ approaches are and things like that,” Ranaudo said. “I think that’s all going to come with experience, and obviously I’d like to be making the adjustments a little quicker, but it’s something that’s part of the learning process that I just have to do a better job of.”
Of his first six appearances with Boston, one of the best came on Aug. 29 against the Rays at Tropicana Field. In six innings of work, Ranaudo struck out four and allowed three runs in the win. Brandon Guyer did the most significant damage with a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Other than that, Ranaudo pitched well, which earned him praise from manager John Farrell.
“I thought tonight, of the three starts he’s made for us, this was probably the best overall mix of three pitches that he had — particularly a little bit more use of his changeup tonight,” Farrell said of Ranaudo. “A solid night all the way around.”
Odorizzi (11-12, 3.98 ERA) has shined this season as one of Tampa Bay’s strong young pitchers. He threw six innings of one-run ball against the Yankees last Tuesday to earn his 11th victory of the season. This came one start after the Yankees hit him hard and scored six runs against him in 4 1/3 frames in the Bronx on Sept. 9.
Against the Red Sox on Aug. 30, Odorizzi baffled the Boston hitters for seven innings. He allowed one hit, a Will Middlebrooks single, and no runs. The rest of the Tampa Bay bullpen recorded the final six outs without giving up a hit to shut out a struggling Red Sox offense.
Odorizzi is 2-1 through three starts this season against Boston. Back in May, he made back-to-back starts, winning the first one, but losing the second. In the loss at Fenway Park, the right-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs before exiting. Brock Holt led the way with a home run and 2 RBIs in the game, while Xander Bogaerts also hit a double.
Rays vs. Ranaudo (RHP)
Yunel Escobar (3 career plate appearances): .333 average/.333 OBP/.333 SLG
Brandon Guyer (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Hanigan (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks
Matt Joyce (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
James Loney (3): .333/.333/.333
Evan Longoria (3): .000/.000/.000
Wil Myers (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout
Ben Zobrist (3): .000/.000/.000
Kevin Kiermaier is 1-for-2 with an RBI against Ranaudo.
Red Sox vs. Odorizzi (RHP)
David Ortiz (10): .100/.100/.100, 2 strikeouts
Allen Craig (9): .000/.222/.000, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (8): .167/.375/.333, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Brock Holt (8): .143/.125/.571, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 3 strikeouts
Daniel Nava (8): .143/.250/.571, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Yoenis Cespedes (6): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Jackie Bradley (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Mookie Betts (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Will Middlebrooks is 1-for-2 against Odorizzi, while David Ross is 0-for-2 against him.