Afternoon Red Sox Delight – 5/2

Boston Red Sox's Tim Wakefield pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of the first baseball game of a double-header, Wednesday, April 22, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Tropicana Field and the Tampa Bay Rays continue to be a thorn in the side of the Boston Red Sox as they were able to win last night 6-2 behind the strength of an Evan Longoria grand slam. The Red Sox will try again to become winners at the Trop again tonight.

The game will start at 7:08 PM tonight and the game will be televised on NESN. In the Tampa area, you can catch the game on FOX Sports Florida. And if the television isn’t your cup of tea, you can catch the game on one of the many affiliates of the Red Sox Radio Network.

When the Red Sox have needed a win this season, they’ve really counted on Tim Wakefield to keep them in the game. Wakefield has been solid in his last 3 outings and is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in 4 starts on the season. In 41 games (31 starts) against the Rays, Wakefield is 19-5 with a 3.32 ERA. In 23 games (17 starts) at Tropicana Field, Wakefield is 9-3 with a 2.86 ERA. Over his last 8 starts against the Rays beginning July 27, 2007, he is 3-3 with a 4.47 ERA.

Joe Maddon will send out a rookie in Jeff Niemann for the Rays. He is making just his 10 career appearance (7th start) and is 2-2 with a 4.43 ERA this season.

Smoltz is here [Extra Bases]

Kotsay drives in a run in first rehab outing, reports no problems [Projo Sox Blog]

Reddick likely to go to Florida for extended rehab [Projo Sox Blog]

Seibu Lions’ Porcelain and Plastic Memorial to Matsuzaka: Plush Bathrooms [New York Times]

Under Pressure, Red Sox’ Bay Delivers [New York Times]

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Boston Red Sox14-9

Tampa Bay Rays10-14

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF 1. B.J. Upton CF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B 2. Carl Crawford LF
3. David Ortiz DH 3. Evan Longoria 3B
4. Kevin Youkilis 1B 4. Carlos Peña 1B
5. J.D. Drew RF 5. Pat Burrell DH
6. Jason Bay LF 6. Ben Zobrist SS
7. Mike Lowell 3B 7. Akinori Iwamura 2B
8. George Kottaras C 8. Gabe Kapler RF
9. Nick Green SS 9. Dioner Navarro C
Tim Wakefield SP Jeff Niemann SP

And here is how the hitters have fared against tonight’s starting pitchers. No one on the Red Sox has faced Niemann.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Tim Wakefield

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