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Friday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Anthony Ranaudo vs. Chris Archer

08.29.14 at 10:42 am ET
Chris Archer

Chris Archer

With the Red Sox and Rays holding firm in the bottom two spots in the American League East, Friday’s game in St. Petersburg, Florida, holds little importance in terms of postseason implications. However, with Chris Archer on the mound for Tampa — opposite young Sox hurler Anthony Ranaudo — there could be some intensity to the series opener.

When Archer (8-6, 3.09 ERA) last faced the Sox on July 27, he surrendered a three-run home run to David Ortiz and lost the game 3-2. Afterward, Archer echoed then-teammate David Price‘s assertion that Ortiz “feels like he’s bigger than the game” because the slugger “pimped a home run off me.”

Ortiz, who is 5-for-12 against Archer, said the 25-year-old is “not the right guy to be saying that. I don’t think, you know, you’ve got two days in the league, you can’t be just [whining] and complaining about [expletive] like that.”

Archer has struggled again the Sox, going 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA in six career starts, but he’s pitched well of late. When he held the Blue Jays to one run over seven innings in his last outing Sunday, it was his eighth quality start in 10 appearances. He has a 1.40 ERA and 30 strikeouts over his last four appearances, encompassing 25 2/3 innings.

Ranaudo (2-0, 4.50) will be called up from Triple-A to pitch in Friday’s game. The 24-year-old last pitched in the majors Aug. 13, allowing four runs in six innings to the Reds.

On Tuesday Ranaudo was named the International League‘s Most Valuable Player. He is 14-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 24 starts for Pawtucket.

Red Sox vs. Archer (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (17 plate appearances): .231/.353/.231, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

David Ortiz (14): .417/.500/.667, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (11): 100/.182/.100, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (11): .429/.636/.857, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts

Brock Holt (6): .167/.167/.333, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Will Middlebrooks (6): .000/.667/.000, 4 walks

Kelly Johnson (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Christian Vazquez (3): 333/.333/.333

Rays vs. Ranaudo (RHP)

No Rays batters have faced Ranaudo.

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