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News » Rays-Red Sox Preview 2009-05-08

Rays-Red Sox Preview 2009-05-08

Rays-Red Sox Preview 2009-05-08
The Boston Red Sox are coming off a record-setting game at the plate. A matchup with James Shields gives them a good chance to continue their momentum.

After a big game from a makeshift lineup, the Red Sox look to deal Shields his fifth straight loss at Fenway Park in the opener of a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

Boston (18-11) scored 12 times without making an out in the sixth inning in a 13-3 win over Cleveland on Thursday night, breaking an 84-year-old AL record.

The previous mark was set by Detroit, which scored 11 runs without making an out in the sixth inning of a 19-1 road win over the New York Yankees on June 17, 1925. The Red Sox accomplished the feat with regulars Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury sitting out due to injuries.

"It was pretty sweet, especially with a makeshift squad out there," Boston utilityman Jeff Bailey said.

Bailey started at first base for Youkilis, who missed his third straight game with tightness in his left side. Ellsbury has sat out two straight contests with a tight right hamstring, and Ortiz was scratched from the lineup with a stiff neck.

Ortiz is batting .421 (8 for 19) with two home runs and four doubles against Shields (3-2, 3.51 ERA), who has posted a 9.56 ERA en route to losing all four of his starts at Boston. He faced the Red Sox on the road April 7, surrendering five runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings as the Rays lost 5-3.

Shields, though, earned a win at home against Boston in his last outing, giving up two runs and six hits while striking out six in 7 1-3 innings as Tampa Bay (14-16) won 5-3 on Sunday night.

The right-hander is 3-5 with a 5.17 ERA in 10 starts overall versus the Red Sox.

Tampa Bay has gotten strong starting pitching during its first three-game winning streak of the season. Rays starters have a 2.89 ERA and a .197 opponents' batting average during that run.

Tampa Bay, though, needed a clutch performance at the plate to beat the New York Yankees 8-6 on Thursday night, with Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria hitting back-to-back homers in the ninth inning off Mariano Rivera.

"I like that fact that when we play with that kind of intensity, it brings out the best in us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's a good feeling, a nice feeling, to see us back on track."

Tampa Bay hit six homers, including two by Longoria and Carlos Pena's major league-leading 13th of the season. Pena is batting .333 (8 for 24) with three homers and a double in Tampa Bay's seven games with Boston this season, helping the Rays win five of those contests.

Tampa Bay beat Boston on Sunday night even though the Red Sox got a strong performance from Brad Penny (2-1, 7.61), who will take the mound Friday. Penny had perhaps his best outing of the season, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out eight in six innings.

Penny has a 6.35 ERA in three straight losses to the Rays and is 1-3 with a 5.26 ERA in four starts and one relief appearance all-time against them.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 8, 2009

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