American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 14th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (4-3) at Boston Red Sox (2-5), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 0.00)
Boston - Clay Buchholz (0-0, 15.75)
(Sports Network) - Jeremy Hellickson hopes to put a scary incident from
earlier in the week behind him and match his brilliant season debut this
afternoon when the Tampa Bay Rays continue a four-game set with the Boston Red
Sox at Fenway Park.
After throwing 8 2/3 scoreless innings to beat the New York Yankees in his
debut on Sunday, Hellickson was hit in the head by a ball during batting
practice before Wednesday's win over the Tigers and was taken to a nearby
hospital for observation.
The reigning American League Rookie of the Year, though, was given a clean
bill of health and today will try to improve upon his perfect 2-0 mark at
Hellickson likely won't have to face Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury this afternoon.
The Red Sox outfielder hurt his right shoulder in the fourth inning while
trying to break up a double play at second base. He went for an MRI and early
reports are that he suffered a shoulder dislocation and could miss two months.
The Red Sox didn't need Ellsbury in Friday's home opener, as Josh Beckett
tossed eight innings of one-run ball, helping Boston kick off the 100-year
anniversary of Fenway Park with a 12-2 win.
Beckett (1-1) scattered five hits and walked one for Boston, which won their
eighth straight home opener, the longest current winning streak for any Major
"It's just what the doctor ordered," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of
Beckett's start. "...He threw great curveballs, had terrific control, threw
all of his fastballs over 90 miles per hour. That's what we were hoping for."
Ellsbury, though, was all anyone wanted to talk about after the game.
"I saw the shortstop come down on his shoulder," said Valentine. "It looked
very sore. He was in a lot of pain when I got there. I don't think a shoulder
looks sore, does it?"
Kelly Shoppach had three hits with three runs scored, two RBI, and stole the
first base of his career, while Kevin Youkilis added two hits, three RBI and a
run scored for Boston, which blew the game open with an eight-run home eighth.
David Price (1-1) was chased out in the third inning after giving up three
runs on four hits and three walks. He threw 83 pitches.
Today, Boston hopes righty Clay Buchholz can bounce back from an awful
start to the season. After missing most of last season with back issues,
Buchholz was terrible against the Tigers on Sunday, as he allowed seven runs
and eight hits in just four innings. However, he did not get a decision in his
team's 13-12 extra-inning loss.
"I felt really good," Buchholz said afterward. "It's just a matter of wanting
to keep the ball in the park, because the wind was blowing out, and I did
that, but it just seemed that every time they made contact, the ball either
found a hole or was just out of the reach of somebody in the infield. It's not
the way you wanted to start."
The poor outing snapped a string of 42 straight starts in which Buchholz
hadn't given up more than five earned runs.
Buchholz has faced the Rays eight times and is 4-2 with a 1.81 ERA.
Tampa was 12-6 versus the Red Sox last season, with seven of those wins coming
04/14 10:30:52 ET