MLB

The Tampa Bay Rays will host the Boston Red Sox in an AL East clash Saturday evening from Tropicana Field. The Red Sox will send 30-year old right-hander Rick Porcello to the hill, and the Rays will counter with 35-year old right-hander Charlier Morton. The Red Sox posted an 11-8 record against the Rays last season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the road for the second game of a four-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night. Los Angeles swept the Reds at home after taking the finale 3-2 on Wednesday. Milwaukee took two of three at home from St. Louis in their last series, falling 6-3 in the finale Wednesday afternoon. The pitching matchup for Thursday’s series opener saw Julio Urias take the mound for the Dodgers against Milwaukee’s Zach Davies. First pitch in that contest was set for 8:10 pm ET.

Jason Vargas will make his fourth appearance and third start of the season in this one. Vargas did not last long in his previous start, serving up four runs in only 1/3 of an inning in Atlanta, however, he was bailed out by the Mets’ bats and finished with the no-decision. The 13-year veteran right-hander is struggling this season, allowing 10 runs on 14 hits in 6.1 innings logged.

Out to build on his first win of the season, Madison Bumgarner looks to get the San Francisco Giants back on track Friday night when they open a three-game series versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Washington Nationals are on the road in the opening game of a three-game set with the Miami Marlins Friday night. Washington played the rubber game of their three-game set with the Giants at home, prevailing 4-2, Thursday afternoon. Miami was swept at home by Chicago, losing 6-0 in the series finale on Wednesday night. The Nationals won the season series last year 13-6, including going 6-3 at Marlins Park. Washington took two of three from the Giants at home as they won the rubber game Thursday afternoon.

The Atlanta Braves are on the road as they make the trip to face the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a three-game weekend set Friday night. Atlanta was swept at home by Arizona as they dropped the finale 4-1 Thursday afternoon. Cleveland swept a three-game set on the road against the Mariners, prevailing 1-0 in a pitchers’ duel on Wednesday night. The Indians swept the three-game season series the last time the teams met, which was in Atlanta June 27-29, 2016.

The Phillies will send 26-year old right-hander Vince Velasquez to the mound, and the Rockies will counter with 24-year old right-hander German Marquez. The Rockies posted a 5-2 record against the Phillies last season.  Vince Velasquez will be on the hill for the fourth time of the season in this one. Velasquez was outstanding in his previous start, limiting the Marlins to one run in six innings, leading to the no-decision in a 3-1 Phillies’ win.

The series finale between the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles will be featured in Thursday night’s primetime MLB action. A road win over the top team in the division would be a nice consolation prize for the overachieving Orioles. It remains to be seen who the Rays go with as the starting pitcher in Game 3, but the Orioles have already settled on rolling out righty Andrew Cashner as their starter.

The Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks will conclude a three-game series when they clash at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon.

The Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants will wrap up a three-game series when they meet one more time at Nationals Park on Thursday night.

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