The Sox will try and rebound from a tough loss last night. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (49-34)
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (1-0, 5.40)
Pitching: RHP Jeff Niemann (6-2, 2.80)
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
State of the Sox: The Sox have lost two straight and are 6-6 in their last 12 games. They are in third place in the division, 2.5 games behind the Yankees and a half-game behind the second-place Rays.
Felix is the cat tonight: Doubront was recalled yesterday from Pawtucket. He started against the Dodgers on June 18, giving up three earned runs in five innings.
Doubront started against the Rays twice in spring training, throwing five scoreless innings.
Hello, Niemann: The gigantic (6-9, 260) righty is 0-2 with 3.81 ERA in his last four starts. He beat the Red Sox on April 19 at Fenway, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks over seven innings.
Are the Red Sox obligated to give backup infielder Niuman Romero an at-bat against Niemann? The world is clamoring for the Niuman-Niemann matchup. LeRoy Neiman can paint it.
OK, moving on …
Bard’s the man: Daniel Bard has thrown eight shutout innings in his last nine appearances, allowing three hits without a walk and striking out nine.
Division dominance: The Rays are 20-10 against the rest of the AL East.
Change of fortune: The Red Sox are 15-22 against Tampa Bat since midway through the 2008 season. They are 4-6 against the Rays this season.
He owns ’em: Beltre is 16 of 35 against the Rays this season with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs over 10 games. Overall this season, Beltre has three hits in his last 17 at-bats.
Other stuff: Carl Crawford is 23 of his last 50 (.460). … The Sox are 13-14 in one-run games. … The Rays have signed lefty Brian Shouse to a minor-league deal. He has been out of baseball since the Sox released him on March 26. … Red Sox relievers have allowed 29 earned runs in their last 30.1 innings. … The Sox are 5-3 without Dustin Pedroia.
On the iPod right now: Wheels of Fortune by The Flatlanders. That’s the group Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock formed. If you’ve never heard any of Joe Ely’s stuff, go check it out.
Back with more later.