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Game Preview: Friday (5/26) at Boston

RAYS (21-27) at Boston (26-18)
7:05; Fenway Park
RAYS TV/PAX; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Game Previews
Devil Rays
Boston

Pitching Matchup:

RAYS-LH Scott Kazmir (7-2, 2.39)

BOS-LH David Wells (0-1, 15.75)

Lineups

RAYS
SS Julio Lugo-.736 OPS
LF Carl Crawford-.738 OPS
DH Jonny Gomes-.981 OPS
2B Ty Wigginton-.800 OPS
C Toby Hall-.771 OPS
3B Aubrey Huff-.561 OPS
RF Damon Hollins-.700 OPS
1B Travis Lee-.591 OPS
CF Joey Gathright-.521 OPS

Boston
1B Kevin Youkilis-.935 OPS
2B Mark Loretta-.728 OPS
DH David Ortiz-.919 OPS
LF Manny Ramirez-1.018 OPS
C Jason Varitek-.715 OPS
3B Mike Lowell-.951 OPS
RF Trot Nixon-.858 OPS
CF Willy Mo Pena-.865 OPS
SS Alex Gonzalez-.590 OPS

Gameday Tune-Where do you think David Wells gets ready for games? Why Cheers of course.

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RAYS (21-27) at Boston (26-18)
7:05; Fenway Park
RAYS TV/PAX; RAYS RADIO/1250 AM WHNZ

Game Previews
Devil Rays
Boston

Pitching Matchup

Breakdown

RAYS-LH Scott Kazmir (7-2, 2.39):

Scouting Report-Kazmir struck out a career high-tying 11 in his last start, working eight innings of a shutout against the intrastate-rival Marlins. The 22-year-old lefty has been on a tear lately, posting a 7-1 record and 1.65 ERA in his last nine starts. His May ERA is 0.65, tied with Oakland's Barry Zito for best in the AL. Kazmir holds a 2.45 career ERA in nine starts against the Red Sox. He has more career wins (four) and strikeouts (53) against them than any other team.  
[DevilRays.com]

This Season-64 IP, 10/10 G/GS, 269 TBF, 3.36 FIP, 67:21 K/BB, 3.19 K:BB, 9.42 K/9, 2.95 BB/9, 8.58 H/9, 0.84 HR/9, 1.28 WHIP, .716 Opp OPS, .326 BABIP, 1.48 G:F

Career-283.1 IP, 50/49 G/GS, 1239 TBF, 19-14, 3.68 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 282:142 K/BB, 1.99 K:BB, 8.96 K/9, 4.51 BB/9, 8.45 H/9, 0.84 HR/9, 1.44 WHIP, .729 Opp OPS, .321 BABIP, 1.15 G:F

Last Start-5/20 vs FLA (W): 8 IP, 119 Pitches, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K, 4:8 G/F

Last Start vs BOS-4/30 (W): 7 IP, 111 Pitches, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 10 K, HR, 6:5 G/F

All-Time vs BOS-51.1 IP, 9/9 G/GS, 4-1, 2.45 ERA, 53:27 K/BB, 1.96 K:BB, 9.29 K/9, 4.73 BB/9, 6.66 H/9, 0.70 HR/9, 1.27 WHIP, .210 Opp AVG
[Yahoo Sports]

Batter v Pitcher:
Jason Varitek-9 ABs, .750 OPS, 2B, 3 BB, K
Doug Mirabelli-7 ABs, .873 OPS, 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Coco Crisp-7 ABs, .929 OPS, BB, K
Mark Loretta-6 ABs, .833 OPS, 2B, K
Alex Gonzalez-5 ABs, 1.000 OPS, 2B, 2 K
Alex Cora-2 for 4, RBI, K
Dustan Mohr-1 for 4, solo HR, BB, K
[ESPN.com]

Miscellaneous-Kazmir has been the winning pitcher in each of the Rays' last three wins at Fenway Park...He is the first lefty to defeat the Sox here three times before his 23rd birthday since before World War I, and is only the third to do it all-time...Kazmir has won each of his last five starts...Kazmir is 7-1 with a 1.65 ERA in his last nine starts, and has a 0.65 ERA in the month of May, tied with Barry Zito for tops in the AL.

BOS-LH David Wells (0-1, 15.75):

Scouting Report-After a successful rehab start, Wells takes the mound in the Majors for the first time since April 12. The 43-year-old missed more than a month with a sprained right knee. He was very efficient in five innings of four-hit work in a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket, throwing 45 strikes out of 66 pitches. Wells has been masterful in his career against the Devil Rays, going 10-1 in 16 starts with a 2.91 ERA and just 13 walks.  
[RedSox.com]

This Season-4 IP, 1/1 G/GS, 22 TBF, 13.20 FIP, 1:1 K/BB, 1.00 K:BB, 2.25 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 22.50 H/9, 6.75 HR/9, 2.75 WHIP, 1.452 Opp OPS, .405 BABIP, 1.57 G:F

Career-3210.2 IP, 619/448 G/GS, 13417 TBF, 227-144, 4.07 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 2082:666 K/BB, 3.13 K:BB, 5.84 K/9, 1.87 BB/9, 9.38 H/9, 1.06 HR/9, 1.25 WHIP, .308 Opp OBP, .299 BABIP

Last Start-4/12 vs TOR (L): 4 IP, 78 Pitches, 10 H, 7 R (ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 3 HR, 9:2 G/F

Last Start vs RAYS-Has not started vs RAYS this season.

All-Time vs RAYS-105.1 IP, 16/16 G/GS, 10-1, 2.91 ERA, 66:13 K/BB, 22.00 K:BB, 5.64 K/9, 1.11 BB/9, 9.14 H/9, 0.77 HR/9, 1.14 WHIP, .263 Opp AVG
[Yahoo Sports]

Batter v Pitcher:
Aubrey Huff-23 ABs, .957 OPS, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 3 K
Julio Lugo-19 ABs, .771 OPS, 2 2B, BB, K
Jonny Gomes-11 ABs, 1.000 OPS, 2B, 3 K
Jorge Cantu-11 ABs, .818 OPS, 2B, K
Ty Wigginton-9 ABs, .778 OPS, 2B, 2 RBI, K
Russell Branyan-1 for 2, solo HR
[ESPN.com]

Miscellaneous-This is Wells' first start since coming off of the Disabled List...Wells is 18-12 with a 4.44 ERA all-time at Fenway Park, he has appeared in 44 games there...Wells replaces Lenny DiNardo in the Sox rotation...In his lone rehab outing for the Red Sox's AAA Pawtucket affiliate, Wells gave up two runs on four hits over five innings while smoking three batters against the Phillies' AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre
team, throwing 66 pitches, 45 of them for strikes...He is expected to be held to a pitch count of around 80 tonight.

Game Notes-Jon Papelbon threw 31 pitches over 1.1 innings last night to become baseball's saves leader with 16...He has yielded just one run this season, and is rolling on an 8.1 inning scoreless streak.

Lineups

RAYS
SS Julio Lugo-.736 OPS
LF Carl Crawford-.738 OPS
DH Jonny Gomes-.981 OPS
2B Ty Wigginton-.800 OPS
C Toby Hall-.771 OPS
3B Aubrey Huff-.561 OPS
RF Damon Hollins-.700 OPS
1B Travis Lee-.591 OPS
CF Joey Gathright-.521 OPS

-That top of the lineup continues to get better, the improvement has been drastic. I can remember a few days ago when both has OPS' below .700, now look at them. Let's hope they can keep it up. Jonny Gomes is in a bit of a funk, but remains in the three hole, while batting fourth is Aubre.....WHOA, HOLD THE PHONE! MADDON ACTUALLY DROPPED HUFF IN THE ORDER! AMAZING! Seriously, what took him so long? I'm glad it has happened, but it took him longer than I would have liked, though it is still less time than it would have taken Lou. He's in the six hole, and while I'd prefer Hollins to bat ahead of him, I'll take this, as long as he is lower in the order. Ty Wigginton and Toby Hall appropriately bat in front of him. And of course, you have murderer's row down at the bottom of the order with Lee and Gathright.

Boston
1B Kevin Youkilis-.935 OPS
2B Mark Loretta-.728 OPS
DH David Ortiz-.919 OPS
LF Manny Ramirez-1.018 OPS
C Jason Varitek-.715 OPS
3B Mike Lowell-.951 OPS
RF Trot Nixon-.858 OPS
CF Willy Mo Pena-.865 OPS
SS Alex Gonzalez-.590 OPS

-The Sox send out another strong order today, with Kevin Youkilis not your prototypical leadoff hitter, but an effective one nonetheless. Mark Loretta isn't doing great, but he is still in the two hole, while the dangerous duo of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez bats behind them. The struggling Jason Varitek remains in the five hole, while Mike Lowell, Trot Nixon, and Willy Mo Pena, all outperforming him, bat in the spots behind him. And of course, you have stud Alex Gonzalez at the bottom of the order.

Gameday Tune-Where do you think David Wells gets ready for games? Why Cheers of course.

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!