8:37 PM ET, October 8, 2013
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Boston: Peavy (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Tampa Bay: Hellickson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Tampa Bay Rays have a liking for developing well in elimination games. Tonight they need to do it again if they want a chance at their second AL championship series appearance.
Tampa Bay will try to build on a sizable victory when it hosts the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of their AL division series.
Facing elimination for the fourth time in a span of nine days, Jose Lobaton’s walkoff solo homer with two outs in the ninth off Koji Uehara led the Rays to a 5-4 win on Monday, trimming the Red Sox’s series edge to 2-1.
Tampa Bay produced the rest of their runs on a three-run shot in the fifth by Evan Longoria — the ninth of his postseason career — and an RBI groundout by Delmon Young in the eighth.
The previous week the Rays won their regular-season finale to force a tiebreaker, which they won when facing the Texas Rangers to reach the postseason. Tampa Bay was then able to beat the Cleveland Indians in the AL wild-card game.
Tonight will have to be the first of three straight wins, however, for the Rays to become just the fifth AL team in the last 23 to come out victorious in a division series after falling into a 2-0 hole.
YouWager experts consider Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 5.17) needs to do a much better job tonight than what he showed to end the year. The 26 year-old went 1-7 with a 7.53 ERA over his final 10 starts.
Hellickson went 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three matchups with the Red Sox this MLB season. The Iowa native allowed three runs — all homers — in four innings during his only career postseason start, a defeat versus the Rangers in Game 4 of the 2011 ALDS as Tampa Bay was eliminated from the playoffs.
Starting for Boston will be Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17) for his first playoff start in seven years. The right-hander will try to shake off some postseason failures as he lost both his previous two postseason outings while posting a 12.10 ERA for the San Diego Padres.