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May 13, 2024 1:42 am

Kenley Jansen, Red Sox staff feeling good as Rays visit

Kenley Jansen

The Tampa Bay Rays probably won’t have to worry about Kenley Jansen when they visit the Boston Red Sox on Monday for the start of a four-game series.

Jansen, Boston’s closer, pitched in each of his team’s past three games, and he earned the save in the Red Sox’s victories on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s good, man,” Jansen said following Boston’s 3-2 series-clinching triumph over Washington on Sunday. “It’s fun. Coming out there more often is better. I’m gonna be sharper. Last three in a row. Now I’m going to go on vacation (Monday), but I’ll come back the next day. Feel great.

“We’re showing that we can pitch. We just have to keep playing and give the hitters a chance to win ballgames.”

Jansen has seven saves this season and 427 in his career — fifth most in major league history. Sunday marked the first time he pitched three days in a row this year.

“That means he feels good, right?” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “We didn’t see that last year early in the season. … Glad that he was available. Glad he got the save.”

Despite losing two of three games against the New York Yankees over the weekend, Tampa Bay is coming off a 6-3 homestand.

The Rays surrendered five home runs during Sunday’s 10-6 setback.

“I thought we played really well the first two (games), and then I still think we did some really good things (Sunday),” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “Would have liked to find a way to win the series, but I feel like we’re heading into the road trip a better team than when we came here.”

The Yankees took a 6-0 lead on Sunday, but Tampa Bay was within a run following a five-run seventh inning that included a grand slam from Jose Siri.

“Encouraged and happy for (Siri),” Cash said. “He has been going through it a little bit. That was a big hit in the moment to get us right back in the ballgame with one swing of the bat. Took a lot of good at-bats to get there.”

Kutter Crawford (2-1, 1.75 ERA) is listed as Boston’s probable starter on Monday, opposing fellow right-hander Zach Eflin (2-4, 3.75).

Crawford has gone at least six innings in each of his past four starts. He allowed two runs on five hits, walked two and struck out six in six innings in his most recent outing, a no-decision against Atlanta last Tuesday.

Crawford is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in six career appearances (three starts) against Tampa Bay. He’s recorded 29 strikeouts in 24 innings against the Rays.

Eflin is coming off a seven-inning outing, earning a win against the visiting Chicago White Sox last Tuesday. He gave up a run on six hits, struck out three and didn’t issue a walk.

Eflin is 1-0 with a 6.16 ERA in his career against the Red Sox. He’s faced Boston four times (all starts) and has given up 23 hits (including five home runs) and 13 runs in 19 innings. He also has 25 strikeouts.

Boston and Tampa Bay will meet seven times in the next 10 days.

–Field Level Media

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