It’s Patriots Day and the Sox will be playing at Fenway Park as the marathoners make their way to Copley Square. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (4-8)
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (1-0, 1.42).
Pitching: RHP Jeff Niemann (0-0, 3.24)
Game time: 11:05 a.m.
TV/Radio: NESN, MLB / WEEI.
State of the Sox: It’s not pretty. The Sox have lost four straight and five of their last six to fall five games out of first place after only 12 games. Only the 2-11 Orioles are further out of first place than the Sox among all the teams in baseball.
Bad sign: The Sox are 1-5 against the Yankees and Rays this season with all of those games coming at Fenway.
Born to run: The Rays for 9 for 9 in stolen bases in the series. Carl Crawford has swiped 30 consecutive bases against the Sox and is 57 of 61 overall. Opponents are 22 of 23 on steals this season.
It’s up to you: John Lackey has been terrific so far this season, allowing 10 hits over 12.2 innings and only two earned runs. He is 9-2, 3.07 in 12 career starts against the Rays. But in his only start against them last season, Lackey gave up eight earned runs on 11 hits and two walks over five innings on June 10 in a game the Angels lost 9-5. Willy Aybar and Carlos Pena homered off Lackey in that game.
Reversal of fortune: The Red Sox were 111-58 against the Rays in Tampa Bay’s first 10 years of existence. The Rays lead the series 22-17 since the start of the 2008 season.
They’re not saying Dreeeeew: J.D. Drew has one hit in his last 20 at-bats while striking out 11 times.
Revolutionary idea: History suggests the Sox will win today. They are 66-48 on Patriots Day with victories in eight of the last nine seasons including the last six in a row. The Rays, however, did win 4-1 in 1999.
Road warriors: The Rays, 32-49 on the road last season, are 6-0 this season.
Twin killing: Victor Martinez has grounded into five double plays.
Hot at the plate at least: Marco Scutaro has had a few flubs in the field lately. But he is 8 of his last 22 (.364) at the plate in the last six games.
The end of an era: Jeremy Hermida is 1 of his last 15 with seven strikeouts, going from .357 to .207. That must have been why the Marlins were willing to trade him.
Good combination: Jonathan Papelbon and Hideki Okajima have appeared in the same game 122 times. The Red Sox have won 99 of those games.
On the iPod right now: This Old Heart Of Mine by The Isley Brothers from the Hitsville U.S.A., The Motown Singles Collection box set.
Back later with much more.