Saturday's Red Sox-Rays matchups: Jake Peavy vs. David Price

May 24, 2014 - 4:54 am

The Red Sox play the middle game of their three-game series with the Rays at Tropicana Field Saturday afternoon when they send Jake Peavy to the mound against David Price. Peavy (1-2, 4.33 ERA) was knocked around for the second straight start on Sunday in a 6-2 loss to the Tigers. The right-hander gave up five runs on a season-high 11 hits with no walks and two strikeouts over six innings to suffer his second defeat of the season. Peavy was once again done in by the long ball, as he allowed a two-run home run to Victor Martinez in the third inning. He has given up a home run in all nine of his starts this season. "I've got to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, but like I said, for the most part those home runs have been solo shots and haven'€™t kept me from having quality starts," Peavy said after the game. '€œYou've got to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, and I expect to do that.'€ Peavy's struggles on Sunday were only a portion of what has been a difficult month of May in which he's 0-2 in four starts with a 6.35 ERA in 22 2/3 innings. Peavy looks to turn that around in his second start of the season against a struggling Tampa Bay offense. He suffered his first loss of 2014 in what was a quality start in his last appearance against Tampa Bay on May 1, giving up two runs on three hits with five walks and four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings in a 2-1 loss at Fenway Park. Peavy is 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA in seven career starts against the Rays. He's had relative success against most of the Tampa Bay lineup, including third baseman Evan Longoria, who has a .222 batting average and on-base percentage in 18 plate appearances against Peavy. One Ray who has hit Peavy well is James Loney, who is batting .303 with two home runs and five RBIs in 35 plate career plate appearances. Price (4-4, 4.28 ERA) has also gone through some struggles of his own as of late. The 2012 Cy Young Award winner is 1-2 with a 3.92 ERA in his last three starts, including a 6-2 loss against the Angels on Sunday in which he gave up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Two of Price's season-high 11 hits allowed were home runs to Albert Pujols. "David did not throw the ball badly," Rays manager Joe Maddon said after the game. "His velocity and location looked really good from the side. I thought they had a decent approach against him. I'm not going to say what I saw, but it looked like a pretty good approach on their part -- and they executed it. Of course, Pujols hitting home runs always helps." Price is 10-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 20 career starts against the Red Sox, but he hasn't faced them since a 7-4 loss at Fenway in Game 2 of the ALDS last season. The left-hander gave up seven runs on nine hits with two walks and five strikeouts in seven innings that night, and allowed a pair of home runs to David Ortiz. Price has had plenty of regular-season success against the Sox in his career, especially against members of the current lineup. Boston's most dangerous hitter against Price is Dustin Pedroia, but even the second baseman has been held to a .267 average with 12 hits, one home run and three RBIs in 51 plate appearances. Red Sox vs. Price (LHP) Dustin Pedroia (51 plate appearances): .267 AVG/.353 OBP/.422 SLG, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts David Ortiz (42): .216/.310/.297, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts Mike Napoli (28): .259/.286/.444, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 15 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (21): .200/.238/.250, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts Shane Victorino (21): .211/.286/.211, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts A.J. Pierzynski (16): .143/.200/.143, 2 strikeouts Stephen Drew (11): .000/.091/.000, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts David Ross (5): .400/.400/1.600, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Grady Sizemore (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double, 2 strikeouts Rays vs. Peavy (RHP) James Loney (35 plate appearances): .303 AVG/.343 OBP/.636, SLG, 2 HR, 5 doubles, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts David DeJesus (27): .167/.259/.375, 1 HR, 1 triple, 5 RBIs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts Evan Longoria (18): .222/.222/.500, 1 HR, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Yunel Escobar (14): .083/.214/.083, 2 walks, 1 strikeouts Matthew Joyce (12): .100/.250/.400, 1 HR, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Desmond Jennings (9): .222/.222/.667, 1 HR, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout Jose Molina (8): .000/.000/.000, 4 strikeouts Will Myers (6): .250/.500/.250, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Sean Rodriguez (5): .500/.500/.500 Ryan Hanigan (3): .333/.333/.333