Sunday Red Sox Delight – 7/15

Josh Beckett (L), James Shields (R)

Despite a solid effort from Clay Buchholz, the Boston Red Sox fell 5-3 last night. Today, they look to get back on track and take the series from the Tampa Bay Rays in the finale of a three-game set at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. and will be broadcast on NESN in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the Rays television market, you can watch the game on Sun Sports. If you can’t catch the television broadcast, you can always listen to it on the Red Sox radio network.

Josh Beckett looks to get his second half going in his 15th start of 2012. In his previous 14 starts, Beckett is 4-7 with a 4.43 ERA. He’s made two starts against the Rays this season and is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA (3 ER/15 IP). Beckett’s made 21 career starts against the Rays and is 10-4 with a 2.82 ERA. Eight of those starts have come at the Trop where he is 2-3 with a 2.75 ERA.

James Shields toes the rubber for the 19th time in 2012 this afternoon. In his previous 18 starts, Shields is 8-5 with a 4.17 ERA. Big Game James picked up the win in his only start against the Red Sox this season after throwing 8.1 innings of shutout baseball back on April 16th. Shields has made 22 career starts against the visiting nine and is 8-12 with a 4.34 ERA.

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 Sox44-44 Tampa Bay Rays46-42
1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF 1. Will Rhymes 2B
2. Pedro Ciriaco 2B 2. Carlos Pena 1B
3. David Ortiz DH 3. Ben Zobrist RF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B 4. B.J. Upton CF
5. Cody Ross RF 5. Hideki Matsui DH
6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 6. Jeff Keppinger 3B
7. Will Middlebrooks 3B 7. Desmond Jennings LF
8. Mike Aviles SS 8. Jose Lobaton C
9. Pedro Ciriaco 2B 9. Elliot Johnson SS
Josh Beckett SP James Shields SP

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

Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays batter/pitcher matchups

NOTES: Scott Atchison has been placed on the 15-day DL. He’s been replaced by Junichi Tazawa on the 25-man roster.


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

Kevin Youkilis’ letter to Red Sox Nation [espn boston]

No relief in sight, Sox fall to Rays [boston globe]

Gonzalez sidelined with back issue [boston globe]

Stalling in the clutch [boston globe]

From the Maniacal One . . . [boston globe]

Numbers back up Boggs [boston globe]

Mitchell Report laid groundwork for major strides [boston globe]

Sox late flop at Trop [boston herald]

It’s high time for No. 26 [boston herald]

Despite end, Clay Buchholz story is six strong [boston herald]

Gonzalez’ back requires rest [boston herald]

Why Cody Ross wants to stay, and why the Red Sox might want to keep him [rob bradford –]

1B Adrian Gonzalez back in lineup for series finale with Rays [clubhouse insider]

Valentine said Youkilis did not want relationship to improve [clubhouse insider]

More on Atchison injury [clubhouse insider]

Rays rally past Sox, 5-3 [csn new england]

Buchholz encouraged; sees room for improvement [csn new england]

Mistakes prove costly for Sox [csn new england]

Valentine blames Youkilis for friction [csn new england]

Gonzalez (back) back in the lineup Sunday [csn new england]

Rapid reaction: Rays 5, Red Sox 3 [espn boston]

Takeaways from the Trop [espn boston]

Boston Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz foregoes pain medication, which likely played role in esophagitis, stint on disabled list [espn boston]

Boston Red Sox 1B Adrian Gonzalez likely to miss third straight game with back spasms [espn boston]

Gonzalez in lineup, assuming spasms don’t return [espn boston]

Bobby V. blames Youkilis for friction [espn boston]

Valentine: Youkilis never got over April remark [extra bases]

Closing Time: Tampa Bay Rays drop Red Sox back to .500 [full count]

Breaking down the key plays in the Red Sox’ Saturday night loss to the Rays [full count]

David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia Could Be Short Terms Options At First Base During Adrian Gonzalez’s Absence []

Clay Buchholz’s Start Offers Red Sox Reason For Optimism Despite Seventh-Inning Woes []

Will Middlebrooks Adds Another Threat to Sox Lineup After Missing 12 Days Of Action []

Clay Buchholz Showcases Impressive Fastball Command in Racking Up Six Called Third Strikes []

Bobby Valentine Feels Kevin Youkilis Never Wanted ‘To Get Over’ His Controversial Comments in April []

Is Jacoby Ellsbury the Most Dynamic Leadoff Hitter in the Majors? []

Crawford wraps up rehab, looks ahead to Monday return [projo sox blog]

Valentine still frosty toward Youkilis [projo sox blog]

Valentine not expecting immediate impact from Crawford [projo sox blog]

Atchison to be placed on DL [projo sox blog]

Gonzalez back in the lineup [projo sox blog]

Adrian out of Red Sox’s lineup with back spasms []

Ciriaco opens eyes with historic three games []

Red Sox option Gomez to Triple-A Pawtucket []

Buchholz’s solid return dampened by loss []

Beckett looks to continue mastery of Rays in finale []

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photo credits: getty images, ap photo