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Game 12: Rays at Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 18, 2010 09:45 AM

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It's a quick turnaround for the teams. But here we are, back at Fenway Park:

RED SOX (4-7)
Scutaro SS
Pedroia 2B
Martinez DH
Youkilis 1B
Drew RF
Beltre 3B
Hermida LF
Varitek C
Cameron CF

Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (0-1, 7.20).

RAYS (8-3)
Bartlett SS
Crawford LF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Upton CF
Aybar DH
Navarro C
Kapler RF

Pitching: RHP Matt Garza (2-0, 1.13).

Game time: 1:35 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NESN, TBS / WEEI.

State of the Sox: It's a good time to be a negative fan. The Sox have lost three straight and four of their last five to fall four games out of first place only 11 games into the season. Only three teams in baseball (the Orioles, Astros and White Sox) are further behind in their respective divisions than the Sox.

Light at the end of the tunnel: David Ortiz is 4 of his last 17 (.235) with four doubles. It's not much but it's a start considering he was 2 for 18 to start the season. "I feel like my timing is getting better," he said last night. "I'll tell you what, some explosions are coming."

On the other hand: J.D. Drew is 1 of his last 18 with 10 strikeouts and has but one ball out of the infield. He is down to .139.

On a roll: Dustin Pedroia has five home runs, the most ever for a Red Sox second baseman in April. He has reached safely in all 11 games this season and had at least one hit in 10 of those games. He is 14 of his last 29 (.483) with four homers and nine RBI.

Let him run wild: Carl Crawford has stolen 29 consecutive bases against the Red Sox going back to Sept. 21, 2005. He has been successful on 56 of 60 career steal attempts against the Sox.

Another long ball for Longo: Evan Longoria has nine home runs in his last 19 games against the Red Sox and 10 career homers against Boston, his most against any team. He has driven in 34 runs against the Sox.

Pat the Bat again: Pat Burrell had not driven in a run this season before he arrived at Fenway Park. He now has five.

Bridge to nowhere: The Red Sox have allowed nine unearned runs in 11 games this season.

Fenway fright: The Sox are 1-4 at home this season.

On the iPod right now: Chillin' on Sunday morning with Can't Let Go by the great Lucinda Williams.

Back with much, much more later on.

UPDATE, 10:09 a.m.: This from the Red Sox:

The current weather forecast (provided by the Red Sox private weather service, Telvent DTN) in the vicinity of Fenway Park calls for periods of light rain during the morning and early afternoon hours.

The Fenway Park gates are expected to open at the regularly scheduled time of 11:35 a.m., and the Red Sox are hopeful that today?s game with the Tampa Bay Rays, which is scheduled to start at 1:35 p.m., will begin on time. However, the Red Sox want to alert our fans to the current forecast and to the possibility of delay.

This forecast is of course subject to change as the day progresses. Additional updates will be provided as necessary.

UPDATE, 11:15 a.m.: A few updates from Terry Francona:

Jonathan Papelbon remains at the hospital with his wife Ashley, who gave birth to their son Gunner yesterday. The Red Sox are awaiting word whether he'll be available to pitch today.

David Ortiz is out of the lineup because Francona did not want to catch Victor Martinez again after last night's long game.

“Until they give us two DH’s, something’s got to give on some days," Francona said. "I actually thought David swung the bat a little bit better last night, especially in the second game. He might not be too happy with me today but sometimes we’re trying to win the game today to make it work.”

Red Sox vs. Garza:

Beltre 3-10
Drew 3-19
Hermida 1-5
Lowell 3-20
Martinez 6-20
Ortiz 3-22
Pedroia 7-34
Scutaro 7-32
Varitek 2-15
Youkilis 6-23

Francona, who has circulation issues, said he wore eight layers of clothing last night to stay warm. He joked that it made going to the bathroom between innings a challenge.

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