7:41 p.m.: It looks like we won’t have baseball tonight.
The umpires have postponed the game due to the forecast for continued rain in the Boston area.
The Red Sox and Rays will make up this game on Monday, July 29 at 6:10 p.m.
7:29 p.m.: All we can do right now is wait.
But while waiting, you’re certainly free to bounce around NESN.com. We’ve got some recent Red Sox-related things that might pique your interest.
Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino made it clear Wednesday that the Red Sox will be “aggressive” in the days leading up to the trade deadline. Their definition of “aggressive” might be different than yours, though.
Cherington said that he’ll aggressively work the phones in an effort to improve the major league club, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be any major trades. Cherington noted that it “takes two to dance,” so the Red Sox will have to find a match. It sounds like the Sox aren’t opposed to standing pat if the right deal doesn’t come along.
We’ve also been keeping an eye on the Red Sox’ farm system here at NESN.com. Check out the link below to see how Boston’s prospects, including Henry Owens, performed over the last week.
6:56 p.m.: Guess what? It’s still wet and sloppy at Fenway.
The tarp is still on the field, and we’re officially in a rain delay.
It’s worth noting that this is the Rays’ last visit to Boston this season, so the umpires are in control of this weather situation, as opposed to the Red Sox.
Hopefully, we’ll get this game in. If not, both the Red Sox and Rays have an off day Monday. The Sox are in Baltimore on Sunday, while the Rays will be in New York.
This Red Sox rain delay is presented by L.L. Bean.
5:15 p.m.: In weather-related news, it’s wet and sloppy at Fenway right now. The tarp is on the field.
5:02 p.m.: Andrew Bailey underwent shoulder surgery Wednesday to repair his labrum and capsule. John Farrell said that there’s no projected timetable for the reliever’s return, but the skipper thinks the expected 12-month recovery period sounds about right.
4:49 p.m.: David Ross still has a ways to go before he’s ready for game action, but the veteran backstop is back around the club, which John Farrell said is a huge boost.
There’s no denying Ross’ leadership qualities, and Farrell said before Thursday’s game that Ross, who is full of life and energy, could have a calming influence on some of the younger players despite not playing. Farrell also expects Ross to be a big part of Boston’s daily conversations.
4:21 p.m.: Thursday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (61-42)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
John Lackey, RHP (7-7, 2.95 ERA)
Desmond Jennings, CF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Wil Myers, RF
James Loney, 1B
Luke Scott, DH
Matt Joyce, LF
Jose Lobaton, C
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jeremy Hellickson, RHP (9-3, 4.62 ERA)
8 a.m.: Thursday’s game will determine who leaves town with the AL East lead.
David Price completely shut down the Red Sox’ offense Wednesday, setting up a crucial series finale. The Red Sox enter Thursday’s contest clinging to a half game lead in the division, but Tampa could leapfrog them with a victory.
The Red Sox’ half game lead is their smallest since moving back into first place on May 27. The Sox have been in first place or tied for first for 97 days in 2013, including the All-Star break, which is the most among American League teams and second in the majors to the Braves. Will they make it 98?
John Lackey will toe the rubber for Boston in Thursday night’s showdown. He’s had a fantastic season, but he suffered a loss against the Yankees in his last time out. Lackey, who enters with a 7-7 record and 2.95 ERA, will go up against Jeremy Hellickson, who is seeking his 10th win.
Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. There is rain in the forecast, but hopefully we’ll be able to duck and dodge the rain drops enough to play some baseball.