Two of the best pitchers in all of baseball will be on display, as the Red Sox' Josh Beckett will take the mound against Philadelphia's Cliff Lee.
Beckett has been the ace of the Sox rotation this season, posting a 6-2 record with at major-league best 1.86 ERA through 14 starts, and will be pitching on nine days' rest after being scratched from his last start due to illness. He will need to be at the top of his game to outduel Lee, who has been nearly perfect in June, allowing just one earned run in four starts — all wins.
John Lackey will get the start Wednesday for Boston. Lackey was strong in his first three starts after returning from the disabled list, but was hit hard by the Padres in his fourth, allowing five runs in just 3 1/3 innings.
The Phillies will counter with Vance Worley, who has moved into the rotation to fill in for Roy Oswalt, who is now on the DL. Worley's start allows the Red Sox to avoid the daunting task of facing Lee, Oswalt and Cole Hamels in consecutive games.
Jon Lester will start the series finale Thursday. He was saddled with the loss in his last start despite allowing just two runs to the Pirates on Friday. It was the lefty's fourth straight start in which he allowed three or fewer runs.