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Sox go for sweep at 1 p.m. today

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  July 9, 2008 08:45 AM

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With afternoon tilts going on in both Boston and the Bronx today, the Red Sox could find themselves just two games out of first place in the AL East before sundown.

It's a 1:05 p.m. start at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox will try to sweep the three-game series with the Twins. We'll have pregame updates, lineups, blogging from the ballpark, and more starting later this morning.

Righthander Josh Beckett (8-5, 3.70 ERA) gets the start for the Sox, who will enjoy an off day tomorrow before starting a three-game set with the Orioles on Friday. Beckett gave up three runs in six innings in last Friday's 6-4 win at Yankee Stadium. Beckett is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in his two previous starts against Minnesota.

For the Twins, Livan Hernandez (9-5, 5.18 ERA) will take the mound. The righthander earned a victory over the Nationals on Tuesday, when he allowed one run over seven innings. The win was his first since beating the Red Sox on May 12. He was 0-3 with a 9.38 ERA in six starts since.

Meanwhile at Yankee Stadium in another 1:05 p.m. start, the AL East-leading Rays will try to avoid a second straight loss to the third-place Yankees as Sidney Ponson (5-1, 4.19 ERA) takes the hill for the pinstripers squaring off against the Rays' Edwin Jackson (5-6, 4.08 ERA). With Andy Pettitte leading the Yankees past Tampa Bay 5-0 last night, the Red Sox found themselves three games behind the Rays this morning.

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