One of baseball's top prospects, Myers will make his big league debut as the struggling Rays face the first-place Boston Red Sox in a day-night doubleheader at Fenway Park on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay (36-33) dropped six of the final eight on its 10-game homestand, including two losses to Boston and three of four to Kansas City after Sunday's 5-3 defeat.
With the offense averaging 2.4 runs over the last five, the Rays decided it was time for Myers, rated by some as baseball's top prospect, to join the club.
The outfielder hit .354 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs over his last 23 games in Triple-A, though manager Joe Maddon isn't expecting Myers to live up to the lofty expectations immediately upon his arrival."We'll probably hit him lower in the batting order to begin, just to take a little pressure off of him," Maddon said. "We'll try not to place the expectations too high, although I know it's going to come from outside, not from within."
Maddon just wants Myers, acquired in the December trade that sent James Shields to Kansas City, to focus on the basics.
"I want him to play. I want him to be a Ray," Maddon said. "I want him to run hard to first base. I want him to try to do the right things on the field, continue to work on his defense, try to improve his baserunning."
The Rays are among the major league leaders with runners in scoring position at .294, though they've hit just .141 in those moments while losing seven of nine to the Red Sox this season.
Boston (42-29) will be looking to get back on track as well after dropping three of four at Baltimore over the weekend, including Sunday's 6-3 defeat as Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino each sat out to get some extra rest.
The Red Sox lead the AL East, though the fourth-place Rays are just five games back.
"This is going to be a very highly competitive division throughout the course of the summer," Red Sox manager John Farrell told the team's official website.
Boston, which swept Tampa from April 13-15 at Fenway, will turn to Felix Doubront in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
Doubront (4-3, 4.91 ERA) had a rough outing Thursday, giving up four runs while throwing 103 pitches in 4 2-3 innings of Boston's 5-4, 13-inning loss to Baltimore.
The left-hander struck out seven while allowing two runs in five innings of the Red Sox's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on May 16, and is 2-1 with a 3.95 ERA in five career starts versus the Rays.
He'll be opposed by Chris Archer , who looks for a more efficient outing versus Boston this time around.
Archer (1-2, 4.80) was recalled from the minors June 1 and has made three starts. He allowed two runs, striking out seven and walking four, while tossing 103 pitches in just four innings of Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Red Sox.
The right-hander faced Boston once last season as well, giving up three runs in five innings of a 13-3 win Sept. 19.
Alfredo Aceves (3-1, 5.58) will take the mound for the Red Sox in Game 2. He returned from another stint in the minors to oppose Archer on Wednesday, allowing one run - a solo homer to Evan Longoria , who had gone 0 for 9 previously in their matchups - in six innings and picking up the victory.
It marked the right-hander's first start versus Tampa Bay after going 2-1 with three saves and a 2.39 ERA in 19 relief appearances.
Opposing Aceves is Jake Odorizzi (0-0, 8.03), who came over with Myers in the Shields deal. The right-hander will be making his third start after giving up two runs in 3 1-3 innings of relief in Tampa's 10-1 loss to Kansas City on Thursday.
Odorizzi is 0-1 with a 7.16 ERA in four career starts.
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|June 16, 2013||Alex Cobb||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 05, 2013||Kelly Johnson||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|May 16, 2013||David Price||15-Day DL||Left triceps strain|
|May 15, 2013||David Price||Day-to-Day||Left tricep tightness|
|May 08, 2013||Brandon Gomes||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
|May 04, 2013||Yunel Escobar||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|Boston Red Sox|
|June 11, 2013||Clayton Mortensen||15-Day DL||Right hip impingement|
|June 08, 2013||Clay Buchholz||Day-to-Day||Left game - neck stiffness|
|May 31, 2013||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Tight left groin|
|May 26, 2013||Clay Buchholz||Day-to-Day||Right collarbone pain|
|May 24, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||15-Day DL||Low back strain|
|May 24, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||15-Day DL||Low back strain|
BOSTON (AP) -- For all their struggles over the years against Tampa Bay, the Boston Red Sox may never have had such a wait for a victory over the pesky Rays.
Two months, six days after this game was originally scheduled, New England's whimsical weather added a rain delay of nearly three hours Tuesday before the Red Sox completed a 5-1 win over the Rays in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
"If you really put the hours into it, from the time it was first scheduled until the last out today, that's a pretty long game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Long enough that Maddon grabbed a nap in his office after the downpour began and the field was cleared at 2:58 p.m. EDT. The next pitch was delivered at 5:57 p.m. in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Boston led 4-1 entering the delay and added another run on back-to-back triples by Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino in the sixth.
The only fans there to see it were a stout rooters who rode out the storm and were joined by others who showed up early for the second game, scheduled to start a little after 7 p.m.
That was about 20 minutes after Game 1 actually ended and with a light turnout expected, the Red Sox invited the fans from the opener back for the nightcap free of charge. But first, Fenway Park was cleared during the brief interim of about 45 minutes.
"I was worried that it was going to rain out the whole time, but so far they've been really good," fan Alex Cole said while packed tight in a crowd of people waiting outside the Yawkey Way gates to get back into the ballpark.
Cole and his fiance, Kim Serulneck, were in town from Winter Park, Fla., and had tickets for the second game, but were able to get in to catch the end of the opener. He was wearing a Rays jersey and she - originally from Framingham, Mass. - was in Red Sox gear for Cole's first visit to Fenway.
"It was a little weird seeing it empty because of the rain. It was really cool," Cole said. "I was excited just to go in."
Security got the fans turned around and back inside before the first inning was over and Fenway was about three-fourths full despite the cool, soggy conditions.
David Ortiz drove in three runs and Ellsbury finished with a single, double and triple, scoring all three times he reached base.
Highly touted Rays prospect Wil Myers went 0 for 4 in his major league debut. The 22-year-old rookie played right field.
Alfredo Aceves (4-1) overcame early control problems and won his third straight start, allowing one run and three hits. He did not return after the delay, which was actually his second of the day. Manager John Farrell said Aceves was stuck in traffic on his way to the park, but made eventually made it.
"He's not a guy that reports to the clubhouse early to begin with and was a little delayed," Farrell said. "He had plenty of time to get loose."
The Red Sox had lost four of six, including two of a three-game series at Tampa Bay last week. The Rays have lost five of six.
Chris Archer (1-3) took the only loss for the Rays last week, and Boston beat him again. He struck out five in 4 2-3 innings, but also walked five while allowing four runs and five hits.
Archer walked Daniel Nava to load the bases with two outs in the fifth and that was it for him. Josh Lueke came in from the bullpen and had just started warming up when the rain arrived and the game was delayed. Almost three hours later, Lueke struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning.
Ortiz hit a two-run single in the third after Ellsbury and Victorino opened the inning with singles.
Myers had little time to savor his debut. He was starting again in right field for Game 2.
"It was awesome. First time in the big leagues was really cool," he said. "I tried to soak it in a little bit. It was a very cool experience. It was everything I thought it would be."
NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia was back in the lineup after sitting out Sunday in Baltimore. He had started the team's first 70 games this season. ... Boston 1B Mike Napoli also returned to the lineup after missing the past three games because of an illness. ... At 22 years, 190 days old, Myers became the youngest player to make his MLB debut in right field at Fenway Park since Boston's Dwight Evans did so at 20 years, 318 days on Sept. 16, 1972.