Al great teams go through their swoon weeks, last year’s Astros for example went 11-17 in August and lost 5 out of 6 to begin September. That was more of a month long swoon but was helped by their ridiculously large lead to begin August. Obviously the Sox can’t afford to go 12-22 in a 34 game span. With the lineup they have, and rotation getting better with returns of Sale and Eduardo, there shouldn’t be a 2011 repeat. It’s just a glaring sight that in a span of a week, the lead over Yankees suddenly falls from 10.5 games to low as 6 if the Sox lose today’s outing.

Being a getaway day, Cora is opting to sit both JD Martinez and Benintendi, making the lineup look like it’s a March lineup in Fort Meyers. You’d think it would be Betts (not Martinez) getting the day off. While he is batting .322 in August, his last 10 games have not been all the effective with the bat.

7 for 39 (.179 avg) 2 Doubles, 1 RBI, 5 Runs, 3 walks, 9 Ks

Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound for the Sox, looking to right the ship from how he has looked in his past three starts.

13 innings, 27 Hits, 15 Runs (9 ER), 2 HRs, 3 Walks, 8 Ks

The 27 Hits mark is definitely an eyesore. Especially considering that after he shutout the Yankees for 8 innings, his opp avg was just .210. Better days should be ahead. And hopefully that starts today. In three starts at Tropicana this season, Eovaldi has a 2.12 ERA (4 ER in 17 innings), walking just 2 and striking out 20 batters.

Blake Snell takes the ball. The Cy Young Contender stands tall with a 2.07 ERA, that is 3rd best in MLB. Only Jacob DeGrom and Chris Sale have lower ERAs. Snell has saves his best pitching of the year to come in August. In four starts he has given up a measly 2 Runs in 20 innings. That amounts to a 0.90 ERA, and has allowed only 9 Hits (.136 avg). Just four times this season has seen him give up three or more runs…. The last time he gave up 3 Runs was on July 12 against Minnesota.

Snell has faced the Sox three times this year, pitching like an Ace. He has pitched against them this yr like he has this month, 2 Runs (0 HRs) allowed in 19 innings. The Yankees however have had his number, getting to him for 9 Runs (4 HRs) in just 13.1 innings for a 6.08 ERA.

Nathan Eovaldi — Career vs Tampa Bay Rays in 4 starts, 1-3 with a 4.01 ERA. Career at Tropicana Field in 6 starts, 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA.

Tampa Bay Rays:

Carlos Gomez – 4 for 11 (.364 avg) 2 Doubles, 2 Walks, 5 Ks

Kevin Kiermaier – 1 for 6 (.167 avg) RBI, 2 Walks, K

Gomez and Kiermaier are the only active Rays batters that Eovaldi has previously faced.

Blake Snell — Career vs Boston Red Sox in 7 starts, 3-3 with a 3.49 ERA. Career at Tropicana Field in 30 starts, 15-8 with a 2.46 ERA.

Boston Red Sox:

Andrew Benintendi – 3 for 9 (.333 avg) 3 RBIs, Walk, 2 Ks

Mookie Betts – 5 for 18 (.278 avg) 2 Doubles, HR, 5 RBIs, 2 Walks, K

Xander Bogaerts – 2 for 15 (.133 avg) Double, RBI, 3 Walks, 4 Ks

Jackie Bradley Jr. – 1 for 11 (.091 avg) Double, Walk, 5 Ks

Brock Holt —–

Ian Kinsler – 1 for 2 (.500 avg) HR, RBI, Walk

Sandy Leon – 6 for 10 (.600 avg) 2 Walks, 2 Ks

J.D. Martinez – 1 for 7 (.143 avg) Double, RBI, Walk, 2 Ks

Mitch Moreland – 0 for 12, 6 Ks

Eduardo Nunez – 0 for 7, 3 Ks

Steve Pearce – 2 for 9 (.222 avg) 3 Ks

Blake Swihart – 0 for 1