Tim Wakefield will start in place of Clay Buchholz, who was scheduled to come back on short rest if Boston won the first two games of the series.
That did not happen, and it did not happen in a painful way. The Rays hammered five home runs in a 14-5 rout of the Sox on Tuesday night, dropping Boston to 7 1/2 games back in the wild card race.
Even if Tampa Bay splits its final 24 games Boston would have to go 19-4 just to tie.
Matt Garza will be on the mound for the Rays, who are 1 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the race for the American League East crown.
WHEN AND WHERE
HEAD TO HEAD
Tampa Bay owns an 11-6 series advantage.
RHP Matt Garza (14-7, 3.46 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (3-10, 5.19 ERA)
Buchholz was originally penciled into this spot but would only take the start if the Red Sox won the first two games of the series and had a chance for a sweep. Now it falls on Wakefield, who will be making his 18th start of the season.
The knuckleballer allowed four runs — three earned — in 5 2/3 innings in his last start Aug. 25 vs. Seattle. The losing effort left him 3-9 with a 5.49 ERA as a starter.
Wakefield still has phenomenal numbers against the Rays. He is 20-6 with three saves and a 3.60 ERA against them over the years.
Garza is on an absolute roll. Including his no-hitter against Detroit on July 26, he is 4-2 with a 1.58 ERA over a span of eight starts. Included in that run is a seven-inning gem Aug. 28 vs. Boston.
He is 7-3 all-time against the Sox.
|Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Ryan Kalish, CF
Josh Reddick, LF
Bill Hall, LF
Lars Anderson, 1B
|John Jaso, C
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Matt Joyce, RF
Brad Hawpe, DH
B.J. Upton, CF
Jason Bartlett, SS
- Catcher Victor Martinez is batting .386 (17-for-44) with four home runs over his last 11 games.
- Outfielder Darnell McDonald is batting .383 (18-for-47) over his last 18 games.
- Boston pitchers matched a season high by surrendering five home runs Tuesday night.
- Left fielder Carl Crawford on Tuesday matched a career high with three doubles.
- Tampa Bay has batted around in an inning at least once in three straight games.
- Tuesday’s win gave the Rays a franchise record 41 on the road.
BLACK AND BLUE
- Shortstop Marco Scutaro has a slight tear in his rotator cuff. He played second base for the first time all season Tuesday night to cut down on the length of throws he has to make and may be in and out of the lineup going forward.
- Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had season-ending surgery Friday on his broken left foot. He is expected to be fully healed for spring training.
- 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 on Aug. 13. He will likely miss the remainder of the season.
- Center fielder Mike Cameron had 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.
- Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
- Outfielder Gabe Kapler hopes to return soon from a sprained right ankle.
- Left-hander J.P. Howell had season-ending shoulder surgery May 19.
The Pawtucket Red Sox’ season is over, but they’ll likely have a pretty strong presence in the big club’s lineup come Wednesday night at Fenway Park.