Rays in Boston as Red Sox Kick Off 10-Game Home Stand Rays in Boston as Red Sox Kick Off 10-Game Home StandThe Red Sox will look to rebound from their worst game of the season when they open a 10-game home stand against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox dropped an 8-0 decision to Minnesota on Thursday in a game in which they committed three errors and managed only six hits. The loss dropped the club to 3-3 on its first road trip of the year.

To add to Boston’s woes, it was without starting outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron, both of whom will be seen by team doctors on Friday. Ellsbury has been slow to recover from his rib injury, and Cameron awoke Thursday with an abdominal strain.

The Sox had only Jason Varitek and David Ortiz on the bench during the loss to the Twins. A roster move could occur if Ellsbury and Cameron remain sidelined.

The Rays are coming off a three-game sweep in Baltimore in which they outscored the lowly Orioles 22-8. At 6-3, this is Tampa Bay’s best start in team history.

WHEN AND WHERE

Rays (6-3) vs. Red Sox (4-5)
Friday, April 16, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.

HEAD TO HEAD

This is the first meeting of the year between the teams. They tied the 2009 season series 9-9. It was the first time since 2000 that the Red Sox did not win the series.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Wade Davis (0-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (1-0, 6.17 ERA)

Beckett followed up a rough opener with a better start in Kansas City on Saturday. He allowed three runs on nine hits in seven innings of an 8-3 victory to improve to 6-0 against the Royals.

The righty has enjoyed success against the Rays as well. He is 7-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 15 career starts, striking out 111 Tampa Bay batters in just 95 1/3 innings.

The Rays are high on Davis, but he had a rough spring and was a bit spotty in his debut on Saturday against New York.

In six innings, Davis gave up four runs on seven hits and four walks. In his only previous game against the Red Sox, the 24-year-old was reached for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings.

LINEUPS

Rays Red Sox
Jason Bartlett, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Ben Zobrist, RF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
B.J. Upton, CF
Pat Burrell, DH
Reid Brignac, 2B
Dioner Navarro, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Jason Varitek, C
Bill Hall, CF

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Dustin Pedroia is 11-for-20 with three home runs and eight RBIs in his last five games.
  • J.D. Drew is batting .143 (4-for-28) with 13 strikeouts.
  • Kevin Youkilis drew a walk in four plate appearances on Thursday to stretch his streak of reaching base to 19 games. The run dates back to Sept. 23, 2009.

Rays

  • Second baseman Ben Zobrist entered play on Thursday as the only American League player with two triples.
  • First baseman Carlos Pena has homered in three of his last five games. However, he is 3-for-25 with an alarming 16 strikeouts against Beckett.
  • Utility infielder Reid Brignac is 6-for-13 with a home run.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox
  • Ellsbury had targeted a mid-week return, but in the words of manager Terry Francona, he “didn’t bounce back” the way the team had hoped he would.
  • Cameron will undergo X-rays and an MRI to determine what caused him severe pain in his abdomen. 
  • In his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed just three hits in six scoreless innings. Matsuzaka, on the disabled list with a neck strain, has not allowed a run in 11 innings with Pawtucket.
  • Boof Bonser, who gave up nine runs in just two innings in his second rehab start Tuesday for Pawtucket, has returned to Boston to have his surgically repaired shoulder examined.

Rays

  • Catcher Kelly Shoppach was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 11 with a sprained right knee.
  • Outfielder Matt Joyce is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham. He is on the DL with a right elbow strain.
  • Lefty reliever J.P. Howell played catch over the weekend as he rehabs a left shoulder injury. He is targeting a return in May.

OUTLOOK

The Rays ran like heck against the Red Sox last year, stealing 31 bases in 35 attempts, and figure to bring their blend of power and speed to Fenway.

Beckett’s pace slows to a crawl when runners reach, so expect some long cat-and-mouse games when Tampa Bay has men aboard.

Boston would love to forget about the loss in Minnesota, and a good showing in the opener of this home stand could go a long way. After Davis, the Rays have their big guns lined up for the remainder of the series.