American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, May 16th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (17-19) at Tampa Bay Rays (23-14), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Clay Buchholz (4-1, 8.31)
Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (3-0, 2.95)
(Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays shoot for their fourth straight win
tonight in the opener of a brief two-game series versus the American League
East-rival Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
The Rays will also host Atlanta and Toronto on their eight-game homestand and
recorded a two-game sweep of Toronto with Tuesday's 4-3 win. Sean Rodriguez
homered to highlight a decisive three-run seventh inning for the Rays, who
have won three in a row since losing six of seven games and are tied with
Baltimore atop the AL East standings.
Rays starter David Price was credited with the win after allowing three runs
on six hits over seven frames, while Ben Zobrist added three of the club's 12
hits. The Rays went 4-4 on their eight-game road trip.
"I thought [Price] got better with the game in progress," Rays manager Joe
Maddon said. "I think if we needed him to he could have pitched the eighth
Before the game, the Rays placed pitcher Jeff Niemann on the 15-day disabled
list due to a fracture in his right fibula suffered on Monday. The team
recalled pitcher Josh Lueke from Triple-A Durham to fill the roster spot.
Hoping to keep the Rays in the win column tonight will be Jeremy Hellickson,
who is 3-0 with a 2.95 ERA in seven starts. He has recorded three straight no-
decisions and previously pitched in Friday's 4-3 loss at Baltimore in which he
gave up three runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Hellickson faced Boston at Fenway Park on April 14 in a 13-5 setback and did
not figure into the decision despite permitting five runs in five innings. He
is 2-1 with a 4.99 ERA in six career games (5 starts) against the Red Sox.
Boston is on a roll lately and has won five in row, one shy of its season high
set from April 23-28. It will open an eight-game road trip this evening
against the Rays, Phillies and Orioles, and completed a two-game sweep of the
Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
Josh Beckett rebounded from a poor outing the previous time out and held the
Mariners to four hits over seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts and two
walks. Rich Hill and Alfredo Aceves both threw a scoreless inning of relief.
"I felt like today I just kept the ball down," Beckett said on his 32nd
birthday. "I feel like I got my fingers on top of the ball, so even when it
was up, I still had some angle to my pitches."
Mike Aviles contributed two hits and two RBI, while David Ortiz homered and
scored twice for the Red Sox.
Clay Buchholz draws the start for Boston tonight and he is 3-0 over his last
four starts. In a 7-5 win over Cleveland on Friday, Buchholz tossed 6 1/3
innings for the win and allowed four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits
over 6 1/3 innings. The win lifted his record to 4-1 in seven starts with a
lofty 8.31 earned run average.
Buchholz, a right-hander, defeated Tampa Bay back on April 14 even though he
allowed five runs in seven innings. He is 5-2 with a 2.38 ERA in nine career
starts in this series.
Boston won three of four meetings with the Rays from April 13-16 after losing
12 of the 18 matchups a season ago.
05/16 10:59:17 ET