After a wild walkoff win against the Rays on Friday, the Red Sox are in uncharted territory this year, as they hold a five-game win streak and are playing some of the best baseball that they have all season.
The Sox hope on Saturday that they can carry some of the energy they gained from Friday’s contest that saw three Boston managers ejected, with hitting coach Greg Colbrunn the acting manager by the time A.J. Pierzynski hit a walkoff triple in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Red Sox will need a good start from a young arm, however, as Rubby De La Rosa will be making his first big league start in a Red Sox uniform.
The 25-year-old has 10 career starts in the majors, with his last coming in July 31, 2011 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His MLB career record as a starter is 3-5 with a 3.88 ERA. This year with the PawSox, De La Rosa has made 10 starts and holds an ERA of 3.04. His last start came on May 24 against the Syracuse Chiefs, where he went six innings and allowed no runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
De La Rosa has only made one career appearance against the Rays, pitching in relief on Sept. 12, 2013. He allowed a run on two hits while recording one out in a 4-3 Red Sox loss. Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria, and Wil Myers each have faced De La Rosa in their careers, with Longoria and Myers each getting a hit.
Jake Odorizzi gets the ball for the Rays on Saturday. The 24-year-old has made 10 starts this year, going 2-4 with a 4.56 ERA. He allowed one run to the Red Sox in his last start on Sunday, going six innings and allowing four hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Odorizzi has made two career starts against the Red Sox, with his only one before Sunday being on June 18, 2013 at Fenway. Dustin Pedroia and Grady Sizemore each have two hits in six and two career at bats against Odorizzi, respectively, while David Ortiz has one in five at bats. The only other Red Sox batter with a hit against Odorizzi is A.J. Pierzynski, who has one in two career at bats.