Nathan Eovaldi threw 85 pitches over five innings Sunday as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park.
And yet Eovaldi still wanted the ball one day later.
It’s hard to imagine Cora taking Eovaldi up on the offer to pitch on back-to-back days, as it’s not like the right-hander necessarily had a light workload Sunday. But Eovaldi’s message to his skipper shouldn’t come as much of a surprising given the veteran hurler’s competitive nature and knack for coming through in big moments.
Eovaldi, who defeated Gerrit Cole in Boston’s Wild Card Game win over the New York Yankees, didn’t factor into the decision Sunday, as the Red Sox needed extra innings — and some luck? — to take down the Rays. Christian Vázquez lifted the Red Sox to a 6-4 victory and a 2-1 series lead with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th inning.
But Eovaldi was rock solid in Game 3, allowing two runs on three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk before exiting the contest. The Red Sox led 4-2 at the time of his departure.
Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox in Game 4. Cora and Rays manager Kevin Cash could have their work cut out for themselves, as both bullpens were used extensively in Sunday’s thrilling, marathon showdown.
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