Joe Maddon was right. Things just aren’t the same when the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays hook up in September at Fenway Park with no playoff implications.
That being said, the Red Sox are offering a glimpse into the future this week. Boston started seven rookies in Wednesday’s 11-3 win over Tampa Bay, and the Sox will do the same for Thursday’s series finale. The youthful unit is headlined by starting pitcher Allen Webster.
Webster, who is among the Red Sox’s young starters vying for a spot in the 2015 rotation, will perform his final audition of the 2014 season. The 24-year-old allowed one earned run on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings his last time out Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. Webster has produced three solid starts in a row, improving his record to 4-3 and his ERA to 5.54.
Boston has had 19 different rookies play in a game this season, tying them with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second-most in Major League Baseball. Only the Texas Rangers (23) have trotted out more first-year players.
Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. NESN.com Red Sox beat writer Ricky Doyle will be tweeting live from Fenway. Follow him on Twitter and check out the updates below.
You also can follow Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays game right here.
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