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Remember Jalen Beeks? He shut down his old team Sunday

Rob Bradford
August 19, 2018 - 3:53 pm

Don't worry, we won't lump this in with the Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson conversation quite yet. 

But it certainly appears as though the player the Red Sox dealt to the Rays in exchange for rental Nathan Eovaldi has a pretty good chance to at least to be a major leaguer for a while That was evident after watching Jalen Beeks Sunday afternoon.

Beeks played an enormous role in helping the Rays become the fifth team to shutout the Red Sox this season, holding his former team to just one hit over four innings of relief in a 2-0 Tampa Bay win. The lefty rookie came in for starter Diego Castillo, who went just 1 2/3 innings before giving way to the 25-year-old. (For a complete recap of the Sox' loss, click here.)

It was a far cry from what Beeks offered the last time he pitched at Fenway Park when he allowed six runs on seven hits over his four-inning big league debut against the Tigers.

The outing continues a wave of success for Beeks after a horrific first game with the Rays (3.1 innings, 8 runs). In his last four appearances -- all coming in relief -- the former University of Arkansas product has given up just five runs over 19 innings.

Making Beeks appearance even more impressive this time around was his ability to get the Rays out of a jam when it counted the most, coming on to strikeout Brock Holt with two outs and Xander Bogaerts standing on third in the second.

When it was all said and done, the Red Sox had been held to just a Bogaerts double and Andrew Benintendi single by five Tampa Bay pitchers. It was the third time this season Alex Cora's team came away with two or fewer hits, with Oakland's Sean Manaea and Seattle's Wade LeBlanc previously getting the job done against the Sox.

Red Sox starting pitchers have a 2.13 ERA over their last eight starts and an American League-best 2.91 ERA in 40 games since July 2. Sunday's starter Hector Velazquez, who only allowed one run over his four innings, has a 1.99 ERA over his 22 appearances (4 starts) at Fenway Park.