Amid wild-card chase, Rays face Red Sox

Field Level Media

Shohei Ohtani suddenly has a bit of company.

A year ago, the Los Angeles Angels' outfielder/pitcher was a singular sensation as a two-way player.

Earlier this month, Cincinnati reliever Michael Lorenzen became the first player since Babe Ruth in 1921 to earn a victory on the mound, play in the outfield and hit a home run in the same game.

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Tampa Bay's Brendan McKay announced his addition to that club Sunday with a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning, the first of his career, in the host Rays' 7-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The teams will wrap up their four-game series Monday.

McKay's blast traveled an estimated 420 feet and hit the D-ring at Tropicana Field.

"That was a big home run. Happy for him," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We know he's really talented, whether he's on the mound or in the batter's box. That sidearm righty (Trevor Kelley) is tough on right-handed hitters and (McKay is) basically our only (left-handed hitting) option there, and he put a charge in one."

McKay, the fourth overall selection in the 2017 MLB Draft out of the University of Louisville, had only eight previous at-bats in the majors. The left-hander is 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 starts.

"It felt really good," McKay told MLB.com. "Not having a lot of at-bats and hearing your name, say, 'Hey, you are going to hit for whoever,' you get excited and you want to try and do what happened (Sunday). You want to try and hit the ball hard and even if it goes out of the park, it's a plus, but you just want to hit balls hard and try and get on base."

McKay said his mother, father, aunt and uncle were in attendance after getting into town Saturday from Darlington, Pa. He said the home-run ball likely will return home with his parents.

"It's a lot more special," McKay told MLB.com. "My family was here today. They came down last night and decided to come to a game today for some odd reason. I think my uncle wanted to watch the Red Sox play against us, so they decided to come today, and that's when they got to see it. Exciting."

While the defending World Series champion Red Sox have already been eliminated from postseason contention, the Rays are still battling with Cleveland and Oakland for the American League's two wild-card berths.

Red Sox right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-11, 5.66 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday against Rays left-hander Blake Snell (6-7, 4.19 ERA), the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner who will be making his second start since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow in late July.

Snell, who pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first game back, is scheduled to go three or four innings.

He's 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA in nine career starts against the Red Sox, including a 6-1 victory June 9 at Fenway Park in which he allowed one run on five hits in six innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Chacin is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three career appearances against the Rays, including one start.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Sunday that left-hander David Price (7-5), who started his career in Tampa Bay, would undergo surgery on his left wrist Thursday in Boston.

"I think we just want to get it over with and for him to start the offseason, 'the right way,' " Cora said. "He can start taking care of himself, be ready for next year."

--Field Level Media

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