Rays vs. Red Sox: A chance to reclaim first place

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Having snapped their seven-game losing streak on Wednesday, the Rays (44-31) enter Thursday’s game with a chance not only to win the series against the Red Sox (44-30) but move past them and back into first place in the American League East.

To do so, the Rays likely will need a strong start from Michael Wacha, who struggled Friday in Seattle in his first opportunity to fill the vacancy in the rotation created by Tyler Glasnow’s injury.

Wacha pitching deep into the game would be especially helpful, since the Rays’ bullpen was used heavily in the previous two games. They called up reliever Drew Rasmussen to take the roster spot opened by shortstop Taylor Walls going on the injured list with a right wrist injury.

The Red Sox are starting right-hander Nick Pivetta, who is 0-3 with a 5.66 earned-run average over his last four starts, though he allowed three or fewer runs in three.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And here is the Red Sox lineup:

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