Coming off a four-game sweep of a home-and-home series with the Atlanta Braves, the Red Sox welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Fenway for the second time this year, in what has become a heated AL East rivalry.
The last time the Rays were at Fenway, they took the series after completing a doubleheader sweep that they didn’t even want to play to begin with, and more recently took three straight, including two walk-offs, from the Sox in St. Petersburg last weekend.
With Felix Doubront still on the DL, Brandon Workman gets the ball for the Sox tonight, making his second start of the year with the big club. As a starter with the PawSox this season, he went 3-1 with with a 5.12 ERA in seven starts, with his 34 strikeouts being the fourth-highest total in the International League at the time of his last Triple-A start.
Workman faced the Rays in his first Boston start this year on Sunday, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in five innings. He has made two career starts against the Rays, holding an 0-1 record with a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings pitched. Workman has pitched in three other games for the Red Sox this season out of the bullpen.
The Rays will counter with a hurler that the Red Sox know all too well: David Price. The lefthander has made 21 career starts against the Sox, going 10-6 with a 3.09 ERA. The Red Sox seemed to get to him at first in his last outing against them, as they put five runs on the board in the top of the first, but Price settled down and allowed just two more baserunners over the next seven innings in what eventually was a 6-5 Rays win in 15 innings.
Four Red Sox in the lineup tonight have faced Price more than 10 times in their careers. Dustin Pedroia has 13 hits in 51 career at bats against Price; David Ortiz has 10 hits with two home runs in 41 career at bats; Jonny Gomes had four hits in 24 at bats; and A.J. Pierzynski has three hits in 17 at bats.