Red Sox Look to Use Hot Bats to Play Spoiler in Tight AL East Race

Red Sox Look to Use Hot Bats to Play Spoiler in Tight AL East RaceWith sole possession of last place in the AL East,
the Boston Red Sox have long been out of playoff contention. However, just because you’re out doesn’t mean
you’re done, and the Sox are showing some improvement and giving
fans reason to look forward to the 2013 season.

Boston will get a different perspective of the race for the pennant
this year. Last year, they had their postseason hopes spoiled and this year,
they have a chance to be the spoiler. The Sox will finish the season with 14 straight games against AL East
opponents who are fighting for a playoff spot. 

The key to upsetting the Rays, Orioles and Yankees is Boston’s offense, which has scored 692 runs this season, good enough for
seventh most in the league. As of late the
offense has been fueled by Dustin
Pedroia
, but Jacoby Ellsbury has come around in recent days, making him the
hottest hitter in the Red Sox lineup. Over
the last seven games Ellsbury has hit for a .400 average with a home run and
five RBIs.

The Tampa Bay Rays, meanwhile, are coming into Tuesday’s game slumping
at the worst possible time. As the Yankees and Orioles duke it out for first place in the division,
the Rays are stuck at 5 1/2 games back and have to deal with a Red
Sox team that will just not lay down. Complicating matters is that Rays just
cannot seem to find any offense right now. According
to the temperature gauge, Ben Zobrist is their hottest hitter registering at
just a 74, so the Rays will need to find their swings on Tuesday if they hope to remain in
the race.

The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET and will feature Felix
Doubront
facing off against Jeremy Hellickson. Here are the temperature gauges for the Red Sox and Rays for Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Red Sox

Jacoby Ellsbury 92
Dustin Pedroia 79
Mauro Gomez 78
Ryan Kalish 73
James Loney 71
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 67
Pedro Ciriaco 64
Mike Aviles 63
Daniel Nava 61
Jose Iglesias 58
Cody Ross 55
Ryan Lavarnway 54
Ivan De Jesus 53
Scott Podsednik 49

Tampa Bay

Ben Zobrist 74
Chris Gimenez 74
Rich Thompson 71
Carlos Pena 71
Stephen Vogt 71
Reid Brignac 71
Ben Francisco 69
Jose Lobaton 68
Evan Longoria 68
Ryan Roberts 67
Sean Rodriguez 67
Elliot Johnson 66
B.J. Upton 61
Jeff Keppinger 59
Jose Molina 57
Sam Fuld 57
Luke Scott 55
Desmond Jennings 49
Matt Joyce 48

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