Afternoon Red Sox Delight – 5/16

Clay Buchholz (L), Jeremy Hellickson (R)

After taking 5-of-6 on the homestand, including the final five games, the Boston Red Sox head to the road for their next eight games. Tonight, they’ll kick off the road trip with the first game of a two-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on NESN in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the Rays television market, you can catch the game on Sun Sports. And if you don’t live in either market, the game will also be available nationally on ESPN. It will also be available online at ESPN3.com or on your mobile device at WatchESPN where available. If you can’t catch the television broadcast, you can always listen to it on the Red Sox radio network.

Clay Buchholz looks to continue to bring his ERA down in his eighth start of 2012. In his previous seven starts, Buchholz is 4-1 with an 8.31 ERA. He picked up the win in his only start of 2012 against the Rays after allowing five runs in seven innings of work on April 14. He’s made nine career starts against the Rays and is 5-2 with a 2.38 ERA. Five of those starts have come at the Trop where he is 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA.

Jeremy Hellickson gets the ball for the AL-East leading Rays in his eighth start of 2012. In his previous seven starts, Hellickson is 3-0 with a 2.95 ERA. He took a no decision in his only start of 2012 against the Red Sox after allowing five runs in five innings of work on April 14. He’s made six career appearances (five starts) against the Red Sox and is 2-1 with a 4.99 ERA. Two of those starts have come at the Trop where he is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA (6 ER/13 IP).

Click on the read more button below to see today’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day if you’re on the home page.

Here are today’s lineups:

Boston Red Sox17-19 Tampa Bay Rays23-14
1. Ryan Sweeney CF 1. Ben Zobrist RF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B 2. B.J. Upton CF
3. David Ortiz DH 3. Matthew Joyce LF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B 4. Carlos Pena 1B
5. Will Middlebrooks 3B 5. Luke Scott DH
6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 6. Sean Rodriguez 3B
7. Cody Ross RF 7. Will Rhymes 2B
8. Daniel Nava LF 8. Jose Molina C
9. Mike Aviles SS 9. Elliot Johnson SS
Clay Buchholz SP Jeremy Hellickson SP

And here is how the hitters have fared against today’s starting pitchers:

Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays batter/pitcher matchups

REFRESH OR CHECK BACK OFTEN AS MORE LINKS WILL BE ADDED BEFORE GAMETIME IF/WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND WILL BE BOLDED

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Bailey cleared to start throwing next week [Rob Bradford – WEEI.com]

Mike Aviles on criticisms of his defense: ‘It just gives me more fuel’ [Clubhouse Insider]

Who’s up first? Ryan Sweeney tonight, Mike Aviles tomorrow? [Clubhouse Insider]

Bobby V: ‘I don’t think Dice-K’s all that close’ to rejoining Red Sox [Clubhouse Insider]

Valentine: Matsuzaka won’t be ready after Pawtucket starts [CSN New England]

Sox don’t have an obvious choice at leadoff [CSN New England]

Crawford, Bailey making progress [ESPN Boston]

Andrew Bailey cleared to start throwing [Extra Bases]

John Smoltz on M&M: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester ‘put me to shame’ with work ethic [Full Count]

Buster Olney on M&M: ‘It’s headed down that path’ to trade Kevin Youkilis [Full Count]

Race is on for Red Sox [Tony Massarotti – Boston Globe]

How Many Games Can a MLB Manager Win or Lose for His Team in One Season? [NESN.com]

David Ortiz, Daniel Nava Carrying Hot Bats Into Series Opener Against Rays [NESN.com]

Rich Hill the Second Red Sox Pitcher in Two Days to Get Drilled by Fly Ball During Batting Practice (Video) [NESN.com]

Adrian Gonzalez Weighs Moving to Outfield for Interleague Games (Video) [NESN.com]

A Series Matter: Red Sox-Rays and Brevity [Projo Sox Blog]

Daniel Bard sings [Projo Sox Blog]

Nice e-mail about Wakefield [Projo Sox Blog]

Valentine on Matsuzaka: “I don’t think he’s all that close” [Projo Sox Blog]

Valentine still searching for leadoff hitter [Projo Sox Blog]

Bailey cleared to throw, will start next week [Projo Sox Blog]

Youkilis eager to see how Middlebrooks adjusts with league [Projo Sox Blog]

Sox riding momentum into showdown with Rays [RedSox.com]

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Photo credits: Getty Images, Getty Images

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