The Boston Red Sox (26-29) take on the Tampa Bay Rays (23-33) in the final game of their weekend series. Boston has won the first two games of the series and will be looking for the sweep to avenge last weekend when the Rays took all three games in Tampa Bay.
The Sox are used to relying on their veterans to come through for them, but last night's game featured unsung heroes from a group of players that are here as injury replacements. Rubby De La Rosa was spectacular in his first start of the season in place of Clay Buchholz, tossing 7 shut out innings. Brock Holt has played well since taking over third base and delivered 2 hits and a pair of RBIs. With Dustin Pedroia getting the day off, Jonathan Herrera got the start at second base and came up big with 3 hits, and RBI and a couple of runs scored.
The Rays are 5-3 against the Red Sox this season, but a win today would pull them within a game of evening the season series.
- Jon Lester (5-6, 3.45 ERA) will be on the hill for Boston. He picked up the win in his last time out against Atlanta, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs. Not exactly the dominance we were hoping for, but it's a quality start nonetheless.
- The Red Sox optioned Alex Wilson and called up Garin Cecchini. The move may only be for one day, with Stephen Drew expected to be activated tomorrow, but Cecchini has a bright future as Boston's potential third baseman of the future. He's hitting .278/.354/.335 in Pawtucket this season. Soxprospects.com ranks him as the 7th best prospect in Boston's system, while Baseball America ranked him 74th overall heading into the season.
- Alex Hassan makes his major league debut, getting the start in RF. He was hitting .217/.318/.303 in Pawtucket. So far this season, Boston's right fielders have hit a combined .215 – worst in the AL.
- Dustin Pedroia is back in the lineup after missing last night's game with a sore wrist.
- Erik Bedard (2-3, 4.10 ERA) starts for the Rays. You may remember him from his brief tenure with the Red Sox after the team traded for him in 2011. Bedard made 8 unimpressive starts for Boston and has bounced around the league ever since. He was pounded for 8 runs by the Blue Jays in his last start. In fairness, the Jays have been doing that to pretty much everyone this year (just ask Jon Lester).
- The Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have placed Wil Myers on the DL and called up Jerry Sands. Myers injured his hand Friday in a collision with Desmond Jennings on A.J. Pierzynski's walk-off triple. Sands will serve as the DH this afternoon, batting in the clean up spot. He was hitting .268 with 9 HRs and 36 RBIs for the Durham Bulls.