Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow has reached a certain state of perfection in 2019, and the right-hander will attempt to keep it going Sunday in the series finale against the Boston Red Sox.
The Rays (14-7) close their three-game series looking for a win against the reigning World Series champions at 2:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
Boston won its second consecutive game Saturday behind a 5-RBI night from Andrew Benintendi and a game-ending pickoff throw by catcher Christian Vazquez.
Glasnow, 25, has been the crowning jewel on a strong Tampa Bay staff that has the Rays -- the only club with a winning record in the AL East -- atop the division.
Obtained in a trade with Pittsburgh last July 31 that sent pitcher Chris Archer to the Pirates, Glasnow (4-0, 1.13 ERA) leads the staff in wins, and the California native has become part of franchise history in the process.
By winning his first four starts, Glasnow joined Matt Moore as the only pitchers for the Rays to win their first four starts without a no-decision.
The lefty Moore started 5-0 in 2013.
Glasnow's production has been even more significant since staff ace Blake Snell was place on the injured list with a broken toe.
Snell could return as early as Wednesday in the series finale against Kansas City.
After a career-high 11-strikeout performance in six innings in Chicago against the White Sox on April 10, Glasnow fanned just three Baltimore Orioles but allowed only two runs in seven innings to win his fourth straight. He is 0-1 and gave up five runs (four earned) in his only appearance against Boston, a start in which he lasted 6 2/3 innings.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said the case could be made that the outing "was one of (Glasnow's) better starts so far just because it didn't come so easy for him," especially considering that he struck out 11 in his previous start.
"Every game the goal is to go as deep as I can and just let the bullpen come in after," said Glasnow. "Our team is so good that you get a couple in a game and there's a lot of confidence there. It's definitely good to go and get that seven innings."
Boston (8-13) will counter with left-hander David Price, who was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2007 draft by the Rays, pitched seven years with the club and won the Cy Young Award after a 20-5 campaign in 2012.
The southpaw compiled an 82-47 mark during his tenure with Tampa Bay, which included four All-Star appearances.
Price (1-1, 3.79) is coming off the best of his three starts this season. He fired seven scoreless innings against Baltimore last Sunday, earning the win by allowing three hits and no walks while striking out seven. He is 5-4 against his former team with a 3.26 ERA in 14 appearances (13 starts).
Red Sox manager Alex Cora saw his club belt three homers on Friday in a series-opening 6-4 win, but he was equally enthusiastic about his starting pitchers and predicted good outings in the future.
Starter Rick Porcello gave up just two runs in 5 2/3 innings in Saturday's win and consistently worked out of trouble.
"I do feel like the rotation is almost right where it should be and we're going to take off," Cora said of his starting staff.
--Field Level Media