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Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz in lineup as Rays-Red Sox showdown begins

Sep 15, 2011, 6:23 PM EDT

Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz Getty Images

Adrian Gonzalez, who exited Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays with a calf injury after homering, is starting at first base and batting third as the Rays and Red Sox begin a crucial four-game series at Fenway Park on Thursday night.

The Red Sox lead the Rays by four games in the wild card race.

With Gonzalez and David Ortiz in there, there are no surprises in either team’s lineups.  Ortiz missed Boston’s previous two games due to back spasms.

The Rays are using the same nine they did Wednesday with the exception of having Desmond Jennings back in the leadoff spot.  He was given last night off.

Tonight’s game is one of two in the series in which the Rays would seem to have a big advantage when it comes to pitching matchups.  They’ll throw Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 2.96 ERA), while the Red Sox will counter with Kyle Weiland (0-1, 6.75 ERA).  It’s a rematch of last Saturday’s game in St. Pete, which the Rays won 6-5 in 11 innings.

Here are the rest of the matchups:

Friday: James Shields (15-10, 2.70 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (12-5, 2.49 ERA)
Saturday: Jeff Niemann (10-7, 3.97 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (15-7, 3.07 ERA)
Sunday: David Price (12-12, 3.34 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield (7-6, 5.13 ERA)

As long as the Red Sox can win two out of four, they’ll be in great position with both teams having 10 games remaining.  If the Rays can win three, then the last week and a half could get very interesting.

  1. pisano - Sep 15, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    This whole series doesn’t look good for Boston, the Rays have the far superior pitching, and good pitching always beats good hitting. It should be interesting.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    So far, the game is following the proper script.

  3. proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    That you Harry? Why don’t you go bug Carla instead?

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:04 PM

      My comment was directed at a post which since has been deleted. The poster went overboard in it and a subsequent post.

      • pisano - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:24 PM

        proudly…. I also answered that same poster, thankfully his post were deleted. I feel he was going to be alot of trouble in the future, that is if you could decipher what he was posting.

  4. proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Back to the original topic. Boston is still not healthy. Youk was pulled from the game after the 6th inning. He was obviously still in pain. It will be interesting tomorrow to see if Beckett is fully recovered.

  5. cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    I was wondering how long that guy would last. Pity about him. Not enough Rays fans round here. If only he hadn’t been semi-literate and a total d-bag. Meanwhile, the Rays & Sox have turned into a laugher for the Rays.

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