The Boston Red Sox enhanced their thin starting rotation for a playoff run, obtaining righthander Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade for minor league lefty Jalen Beeks.
Eovaldi had been scheduled to start the Rays’ game against the Yankees on Wednesday but was scratched about two hours before game time.
“I assumed there was a possibility, of course, especially where I am in my career and the way my contract was for this year,” Eovaldi said before leaving Tropicana Field. “I was assuming that I would be traded, but as for what team it would be, I wasn’t thinking about that at all.”
Eovaldi can become a free agent after this season.
It didn’t matter to the Red Sox that Eovaldi may not be part of the team beyond 2018. He throws hard and can fill out a rotation that features Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price.
“He’s been pitching very well,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “We’ve had some starting pitching injuries. He gives us depth in that regard. He’ll start in the rotation for us at this time. He’s also a guy that can slip into the bullpen if that ends up happening later on in the year.”
Lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez is sidelined with a right ankle sprain, and Drew Pomeranz (1-4, 6.91 ERA) is still trying to bounce back from a biceps strain that kept him on the disabled list for two months before his return on Tuesday night.
The deal was announced less than 12 hours after Boston’s main division rival, the Yankees, obtained reliever Zach Britton from Baltimore. As a form of response, the Red Sox snagged a starter with 144 games of big league experience.
“Good teams find a way to get better,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “We feel very comfortable with him. He’s a guy whose stuff is outstanding. He’s been throwing the ball well. We feel he is going to be good for us.”
Eovaldi returned this season following Tommy John surgery in August 2016. He’s 3-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts after starting the 2018 season on the disabled list following arthroscopic surgery on his elbow.
The 28-year old is well aware of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, going 23-11 with a 4.45 ERA in 51 games while playing for the Yankees in 2015-16.
“Those games are definitely exciting,” Eovaldi said. “The fans are . . . it’s kind of one of those indescribable tension is always high and it’s always a good series.”
Indians 4, Pirates 0: Trevor Bauer struck out 10 in seven innings, Brad Hand got his first save for host Cleveland, which stopped the Pittsburgh winning streak at 11.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run single in the third inning, and Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer in the eighth.
The Pirates were seeking their first 12-game winning streak since 1965 but only advanced one runner past second base as Bauer (9-6), Adam Cimber and Hand combined for a three-hitter.
Phillies 7, Dodgers 3: Scott Kingery homered and Carlos Santana hit a three-run triple in host Philadelphia’s five-run fifth inning. Rhys Hoskins also went deep for the Phillies, who increase their lead in the NL East to 1 1/2 games over the idle Atlanta Braves.
Jake Arrieta (8-6) allowed two earned runs on five hits in six innings for the victory.
Nationals 7, Brewers 3: Bryce Harper tied for the NL lead with his 25th home run, and Tanner Roark (4-12) pitched eight scoreless innings to end a seven-start winless streak for visiting Washington.
Cubs 2, D-backs 1: Jon Lester bounced back from his worst start of the season with six strong innings and host Chicago scored the go-ahead run in the eighth on Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed’s throwing error.
Mariners 3, Giants 2: Jean Segura chopped the first pitch from Sam Dyson into centerfield to score Guillermo Heredia with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning for host Seattle.
Reds 7, Cardinals 3: Eugenio Suarez homered for the third straight game, and Tucker Barnhart added a two-run shot for host Cincinnati.
Tigers 8, Royals 4: In Kansas City, Jose Iglesias hit a three-run homer in a four-run fourth inning against Danny Duffy (6-9).
Mike Moustakas had two hits, including a run-scoring double, in what might have been his final home game for the Royals.