A closer look at Red Sox-Rays

September, 15, 2011
9/15/11
11:40
AM ET


In the video above, Steve Berthiaume and Chris Singleton of "Baseball Tonight" preview the four-game series between the Red Sox and Rays that begins Thursday at Fenway Park. Singleton says the Sox can't feel real good about themselves after letting Wednesday's game with Toronto get away and with their assortment of injuries, but figures a split will be enough to give them some breathing room heading into the home stretch.

The Red Sox head into the series 4 games up on the Rays in the wild card race. Here are the pitching matchups (ERA is for Sox-Rays games they've pitched this season):

* Thursday: Kyle Weiland (6.75 ERA in 4 innings) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (3.93 ERA in 18 1/3 innings)
* Friday: Josh Beckett (0.00 in 17 innings) vs. James Shields (2.87 in 31 1/3 innings)
* Saturday: Jon Lester (4.00 in 18 innings) vs. Jeff Niemann (1.06 in 17 innings)
* Sunday: Tim Wakefield (4.35 in 10 1/3 innings) vs. David Price (2.70 in 26 2/3 innings)

The pitching matchup to watch will be Saturday's. Beckett, who has surrendered just two hits and no runs in 17 innings against the Rays this season, is making his first start since spraining his ankle Sept. 5. Shields, meanwhile, gave up just one run in 8 2/3 innings the last time he faced the Red Sox on Sept. 11 and have won each of his last four starts.

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