Red Sox Look to Maintain Momentum After Winning Series Opener Against Rays

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Red Sox Look to Maintain Momentum After Winning Series Opener Against Rays Friday night was Jon Lester's turn. Saturday belongs to Clay Buchholz.

The second half of the Red Sox' 1-2 punch goes against the Tampa Bay Rays in the second of three big games at Tropicana Field.

Buchholz owns a 1.93 ERA in his career against the Rays and is 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA on the road this year. He will be looking to duplicate the effort of Lester, who yielded just an unearned run and struck out 10 in seven innings of a 3-1 win.

The victory pulled Boston within 4 1/2 games of both Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees in the hotly contested American League East race.

Matt Garza will take the ball for the Rays.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red Sox (74-55) at Rays (78-50)
Saturday, Aug. 28, 7:10 p.m. NESN
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Live Blog

HEAD TO HEAD

The Rays own an 8-5 season series advantage.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Clay Buchholz (15-5, 2.26 ERA) vs. RHP Matt Garza (13-7, 3.62 ERA)

Buchholz's Cy Young Award campaign continued six days ago at home. He struck out seven in six scoreless innings against Toronto, winning his fifth straight decision.

The lanky Texan has not allowed an earned run in 21 innings over a span of three starts. He defeated Tampa Bay in The Trop back in May with six strong innings and has allowed just one earned run in 11 frames in the rivalry this year.

Garza is no stranger to the Red Sox. In 17 games (16 starts) he has gone 7-3 with a 3.64 ERA and one save vs. Boston. The righty's last start against the third-place club did not go so well, however, as he was reached for four runs on seven hits in just three innings.

LINEUPS

 

Red Sox Rays
Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
 Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Ryan Kalish, CF
Bill Hall, 2B

John Jaso, C
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Matt Joyce, RF
Dan Johnson, DH
Justin Upton, CF
Jason Bartlett, SS

 

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Designated hitter David Ortiz scored his 743rd run Friday night, tying him with Manny Ramirez for 10th in team history.
  • Darnell McDonald leads all Red Sox outfielders with seven assists.
  • Ryan Kalish is 3-for-31 (.097) over his last 10 games.

Rays

  • Third baseman Evan Longoria struck out three times Friday night for the first time all year.
  • Tampa Bay is 3-17 on Fridays.
  • The last six hitters in the Rays' lineup Friday went a combined 0-for-19.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had his broken left foot put back in a boot Thursday, where it will stay for seven days. After one week, he will either continue his rehab or face season-ending surgery.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has another broken rib near where he was hurt earlier in the year, the result of a collision at first base in Texas. He is out four to six weeks at minimum and will likely miss the remainder of the season.
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron will have season-ending surgery Friday to repair an abdominal tear.
  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) continues to try to recover from a broken right foot. He has yet to be able to run at full speed, one of the last major obstacles before he can eye a rehab stint.
  • Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is on the DL with an infection in his lower right leg. He has been released from the hospital and will begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket at the end of the week.
  • Outfielder/second baseman Eric Patterson has also begun a rehab stint with Pawtucket. He is out with a neck strain.
  • Left-hander Hideki Okajima is on the DL with a right hamstring strain. He threw a side session Friday and may be activated Saturday.
  • Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Rays

  • Left fielder Carl Crawford was a late scratch Saturday with a stomach bug.
  • Outfielder Gabe Kapler (sprained right ankle) hopes to return Sept. 1.
  • Right-hander Grant Balfour also hopes to be back at the start of the month. He is on the DL with a rib cage strain.
  • Left-hander J.P. Howell had season-ending shoulder surgery May 19.

 

OUTLOOK

All eyes were on Lester and Rays' lefty David Price in the opener. It will be hard to look away from the Buchholz-Garza matchup, another doozy of a duel that will define this all-important second game of the series.

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