Red Sox-Rays Preview

A breakout performance at the plate spelled the end of their losing streak, but the Tampa Bay Rays are likely to have a difficult time building on the effort against one of their rivals.

Clay Buchholz looks to extend his 23-inning road scoreless streak against the Rays on Thursday night when the Boston Red Sox try to get back on track and claim their third consecutive road series win.

Tampa Bay batted .172 and went 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position while totaling three runs in the final three of a four-game home losing streak before collecting 12 hits in Wednesday's 7-5 victory.

Steven Souza led the way with a home run and a double before departing due to a right forearm cramp. He's hopeful to play after batting .364 with four homers and nine RBIs over his last eight games.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings also had two hits apiece as Tampa Bay (7-8) rallied from a four-run deficit by scoring four in the seventh inning and two in the eighth.

''We needed that one,'' manager Kevin Cash said. ''For the guys to come back from that deficit against that team, it just keeps impressing all of us, showing what they're about.''

The Red Sox (9-6), however, are giving the ball to the right pitcher as they seek their sixth win in nine road games. Buchholz has scattered 10 hits over a scoreless streak that spans three regular-season starts at Tropicana Field.

The right-hander is 5-3 with a 1.95 ERA in 10 career regular-season starts in Tampa after firing a three-hitter in a 3-0 victory last August. He also had a streak of 30 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings overall against the Rays before allowing five runs in the eighth inning of a 6-2 home defeat last September.

Since limiting Philadelphia to three hits over seven innings in a season-opening 8-0 road win, Buchholz (1-2, 6.06 ERA) has allowed 20 hits over 9 1-3 innings in back-to-back defeats. He gave up 11 on Saturday, but limited the damage and yielded two earned runs over six innings in a 4-1 home loss to Baltimore.

Cabrera has fared well versus Buchholz, going 4 for 9 with two homers over the previous four seasons. Longoria, however, is 3 for 20 and Jennings is 4 for 17 in the matchup since 2012.

The Rays will try to clinch their first home series win as Jake Odorizzi goes after his fourth consecutive quality start.

He allowed one run and four hits over a combined 14 2-3 innings to beat Baltimore and Toronto before receiving no run support while giving up three runs over six innings in Saturday's 9-0 home loss to the New York Yankees.

Odorizzi (2-1, 1.74), who has an AL-best 0.68 WHIP, surrendered one run and five hits over 13 innings in a pair of home starts versus Boston in 2014. He's focused on throwing strikes as the Red Sox rank near the top of the AL with 67 walks.

''They work at-bats,'' the right-hander said.

Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth home run and David Ortiz smacked his third Wednesday. Ortiz, still awaiting word on the appeal of his one-game suspension, has 30 homers and 76 RBIs at Tropicana, the most for any visiting player.

Shane Victorino will not start after leaving Wednesday's game due to tightness in his hamstring.

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