Entering the fourth game of their season series against the Rays, the Red Sox are still looking for their first win against Tampa Bay.
The last win for the Rays came Tuesday night thanks to some dominant pitching by James Shields, a righty with some very impressive splits against lefties. Wednesday, they’ll get their shot against Jeremy Hellickson, who has no such saving grace against the lefty powerhouse that is Boston.
But more on that later. For now, the lineups:
Boston Red Sox (39-27)
Jed Lowrie will make his first start in four days. Hopefully the rest has done his aching shoulder some good.
Tampa Bay Rays (36-31)
Josh Beckett (5-2, 2.06 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (7-4, 3.03 ERA)
For the third time this year, Josh Beckett came up big against the Yankees back on Thursday, allowing just two runs over seven innings. Less impressive were his three hit batsmen. While Josh has been doing just fine in the earned run department, he can’t survive forever without getting back to his old strikeout-heavy, walk-stingy ways. If he has his curveball sharp tonight, it’ll be a big help against Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria, who can both have trouble against good benders.
Like Beckett, Hellickson has also been getting by with some less-than-dominant peripherals. His have just been less-than-impressive all season long, finally resulting in a less-than-impressive outing against Baltimore last time around. His biggest problem against the Red Sox, though, are his rather heavy left-right splits. Generally speaking, not the most desirable of qualities against a lineup with Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz, amongst others.