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Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. David Price

06.16.11 at 1:39 pm ET
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After being scratched from his prior start with a sore back, Clay Buchholz shined against Toronto in his most recent outing. Buchholz (5-3, 3.59) allowed one run on three hits in seven innings of work. He struck out six Blue Jays batters while walking a pair. In fact, Boston’s 26-year-old hurler walked no more than two batters in each of his last nine starts.  In his career against Tampa Bay, Buchholz is 3-2 with an impressive 1.81 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Thursday, Buchholz will look to continue add on another quality start, going against Tampa Bay’s David Price.

Price (7-5, 3.51) had one of his worst starts of the season Saturday in Baltimore. He allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings. He allowed two home runs to Orioles batters after having given up zero longballs in his three previous starts. In his career at Tropicana Field, Price is 20-8 with a 2.50 ERA. And, in his career pitching against Boston the No. 1 overall selection in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft is  4-2, with a 3.18 ERA.

B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman are the two Rays with the most success in their respective careers against Buchholz. Upton is 4-for-10 with one home run, a double and two walks. However, this season Upton boasts a measly .167 average against his divisional rivals. Kotchman is 6-for-9 against Buchholz with half of his hits being doubles. He is hitting a scorching .342 this season, but has cooled off in the month of June, tallying a .250 pace. Neither former Red Sox Johnny Damon and Kelly Shoppach have done anything notable against Buchholz.

The Boston bats have a decent history against Price. Every hitter on roster has fasted the Rays starter. Kevin Youkilis (.385), Darnell McDonald (.333) and Jed Lowrie (.333) have all hit Price well and enter Thursday’s game with a combined six extra-base hits in 38 at-bats. Mike Cameron is 3-for-6 with a home run, while headline offseason acquisitions Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez are a combined 0-for-8.

Rays vs. Clay Buchholz

Evan Longoria (21 plate appearances): .278 BA/.381 OBP/.389 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Ben Zobrist (15): .231/.333/.231, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

B.J. Upton (12): .400/.500/.800, 1 HR, 1 double, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Casey Kotchman (9): .667/.667/1.000, 3 doubles, 1 strikeout

John Jaso (8): .143/.200/.286, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Johnny Damon (6): .200/.333/.400, 1 double, 1 walk

Matthew Joyce (5): .333/.400/.333, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Reid Brignac (2), Sean Rodriguez (2) and Kelly Shoppach (2) are all hitless against Buchholz. They have struck out a combined five times.

Sam Fuld, Elliot Johnson and Justn Ruggiano have not faced the Boston starter.

Red Sox vs. David Price

Marco Scutaro (19): .111/.158/.111, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Darnell McDonald (14): .333/.429/.538, 1 HR, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (14): .385/.429/.538, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts

Jed Lowrie (12): .333/.333/.500, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

David Ortiz (12): .167/.167/.333, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (10): .111/.200/.222, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

J.D. Drew (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (7): .167/.286/.333, 1 double, 1 walk

Mike Cameron (6): .500/.500/1.000, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Jason Varitek (6): .167/.167/.300, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Carl Crawford (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 strikeout

Adrian Gonzalez (4): .000/.000/.000

Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked in his only plate appearance against Price.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz,

Here comes ‘Moneyball’ … the movie; do you like what you see?

06.16.11 at 12:57 pm ET
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Here is the first look at the movie “Moneyball,” the story of the A’s and their general manager Billy Beane. It is being directed by Bennett Miller (“Capote”) and stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It is due out in September.

Thoughts …

Minor Details Ep. 12: Breaking down the Red Sox draft with Jim Callis

06.16.11 at 9:03 am ET
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In the latest edition of the Minor Details, Baseball America’s Jim Callis joins the podcast to discuss the players whom the Red Sox selected in the 2011 draft. The Sox had four of the first 40 picks — the first time in roughly three decades since they had such a confluence of picks at that early stage of the process — and in a now-familiar pattern, they continued to select high-ceiling players (many of whom will require signing bonuses in excess of Major League Baseball’s slot recommendations) after their top picks.

“For me, it was business as usual for the Red Sox,” Callis suggested. “Let’€™s get the best players and go from there.”

A few of Callis’ observations:

–He described top selection Matt Barnes (1st round, No. 19 overall) as a pitcher for whom “the ceiling’€™s a No. 2 starter, and maybe being more realistic, a really good No. 3 starter. … What the difference is going to be for him is how consistent he gets with the breaking ball, which is very good at times, and how consistent he gets with control, which comes and goes a little bit. I think that will determine whether he’€™s a No. 2 or a No. 3. I don’€™t think he has the same ceiling as Anthony Ranaudo did last year, but he’€™s a very good arm.”

–Barnes was the seventh college pitcher selected in this year’s draft. Given the wealth of advanced college arms, Callis suggested that had the Sox not signed Casey Kelly for $3 million when they selected him out of high school in the first round of the 2008 draft, the right-hander would have been unlikely to get similar money this year had he enrolled at Tennessee and returned to the draft this year.

“It’€™s not like he’€™s an overwhelming stuff guy,” said Callis, who still views Kelly as a terrific pitching prospect. “I don’€™t know that he would have gotten the same money now that he got out of high school having the two-sport leverage that he did at this point.”

–Callis spoke highly of the Sox’ second first-round pick, Blake Swihart. However, he noted that the switch-hitting high school catcher with a very strong commitment to the University of Texas could be one of the most difficult players to sign in this year’s draft.

“He’€™s really exciting. I guess the operative phrase on Blake would be, he’€™s really easy to dream on,” said Callis. “It sounds like he’€™s going to hit. I haven’€™t talked to anyone who’€™s doubted his offensive potential. I think he’€™s got the athleticism and the arm strength to figure out catching and to be a good catcher. I think the question becomes, if the bat is as good as you think it is, do you want him to catch which maybe adds a couple years to his development or do you want to expedite his bat to the big leagues? …

“[But] of the guys who went in the first round of the draft, the top 33 picks, he’€™s probably going to be the toughest sign of all of them,” he added. “If another team had drafted him, I think I’€™d be more concerned that he’€™d go to college. But since it’€™s the Red Sox and they obviously have the money and they’€™re aggressive, I bet they wind up signing him.”

Callis said that he wasn’t sure how much credence to put into the number, but he heard in the spring that Swihart might be seeking a bonus in the vicinity of $2.5 million.

–Callis suggested that South Carolina center fielder Jackie Bradley (sandwich round, No. 40) could be similar to Ranaudo, whom the Sox took in the sandwich round last year with the No. 39 overall pick. Like Ranaudo, Bradley had a junior year in which he underperformed and then suffered an injury. Yet if Bradley bounces back as a professional, he could be an impact player.

“I think if he’€™s healthy, and had the year he was supposed to have, goes somewhere in the teens,” said Callis. “If he had the year people thought he would have, he might not have even been available when the Red Sox picked at 19. He might be a steal for them.”

To hear more of Callis’ observations on these and several other Sox draftees, as well as how the possibility of a more rigid draft slotting system going forward could impact how the Sox approach this year’s draft class, click here.

Read More: 2011 MLB Draft, blake swihart, casey kelly, jackie bradley

Transcript of Terry Francona on The Big Show: Andrew Miller ‘in our plans, that’s for sure’

06.15.11 at 4:03 pm ET
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Red Sox manager Terry Francona joined The Big Show Wednesday to talk about baseball, hockey, Game 7s and his recent conversation with Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Francona called Julien before the Bruins’ Game 6 victory Monday night.

“Yeah I talked to him about the power play a little bit,” Francona joked. “Guys, I don’t even know what a line is.”

Following is a transcript of the conversation. The hear the interview, check out The Big Show audio on demand page.

So is [not liking hockey] a Western Pennsylvania thing? How did you never grab on to the Penguins? What happened?

You know what, when I was growing up I never went to a Penguins game. They used to come down every once in a while. My dad ran an ice arena when he retired at the park and they’d come down every so often and work out. I thought that was pretty cool, but it just doesn’t interest me. I actually told [Julien] that. I said, “Hey, I like the way you do things, I love the way you handle yourself.” And from what everybody tells me, the media that are around him, they love him. I said, “I don’t get into it, but I just want to wish you luck.” I didn’t want to lie to him.

I get the excuse that you grew up in a baseball family, but you said your dad ran an ice rink?

Yeah. How about that? You ought to see me on skates, it’s pretty great.

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Read More: andrew miller, C.C. Sabathia, Claude Julien, David Ortiz

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Jeremy Hellickson

06.15.11 at 2:33 pm ET
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The fans at Tampa’s Tropicana Field will be treated to a pitching battle between a rookie phenom and a dominant veteran Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. The Red Sox will give the ball to 31-year-old Josh Beckett, as the right-hander looks for his sixth win in his last seven decisions. The Rays will counter with Jeremy Hellickson, a 24-year-old hurler with the fourth-highest win total in the American League.

Beckett (5-2, 2.06 ERA) will look to build on another stellar start after holding the Yankees to two runs in seven innings on June 9. The Red Sox ace fanned six and walked two, while keeping his AL-leading ERA under 2.10 (Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens leads the majors at 1.82).

Beckett has yet to face the Rays in 13 starts this season, and hasn’t started against Tampa Bay since April 2010. The Rays have made some serious roster changes since then, but three hitters have seen their fair share of Beckett, and have performed quite well.

Former Red Sox speedster Johnny Damon has a team-high 52 plate appearances against Beckett, hitting .292 with two homers, five doubles and nine RBI. On the other hand, Damon also leads the Rays with 11 strikeouts against the Boston starter. Evan Longoria has led the charge against Beckett, hitting .353 with two homers, five doubles and eight RBI in 35 plate appearances. B.J. Upton is hitting .308 in 29 plate appearances to go along with three doubles and two homers.

Beckett has shown pristine control against Tampa Bay, striking out 41 hitters and walking just seven in 160 total plate appearances.

After a spectacular month of May, Hellickson (7-4, 3.03 ERA) is slowly emerging as the AL Rookie of the Year candidate many expected him to be at the beginning of the season. The 24-year-old went 4-1 in five starts last month, and allowed just five runs for a 1.36 ERA.

Hellickson’s only start against Boston came earlier this season on April 11. The right-hander got his first win of the year at Fenway Park, tossing 5.1 innings of two-run ball in a 16-5 win. Hellickson gave up just one run in 7 1/3 innings against Seattle on June 4, but had his worst outing of the season in his last start. On June 10 vs. the Orioles, he surrendered five runs in 5 2/3 innings, including two homers.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the only Red Sox player to face Hellickson more than three times, drawing a walk and hitting an RBI double in four career plate appearances. Seven other hitters have seen the rookie exactly three times, and five of those players have base hits. As a whole, the Red Sox are hitting .292 in 29 plate appearances against Hellickson. No player has a home run or more than one hit against the right-hander, although both Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz, of all people, have triples.

The rookie has struggled a bit with his command against the Red Sox, walking five hitters while striking out just one.

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Read More: Jeremy Hellickson, Josh Beckett, Rays, Red Sox

Red Sox prospect health updates: Kalish, Navarro, Middlebrooks, Tazawa

06.15.11 at 12:30 pm ET
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A few health-related notes about Red Sox prospects who are returning from injury:

–Had all gone according to plan, outfielder Ryan Kalish likely would have seen game action by this point. However, while the recovery of his left shoulder (in which he suffered a partial tear of the labrum while attempting a diving catch for Triple-A Pawtucket in April) is proceeding as the Sox had hoped, the 23-year-old is dealing with what Sox VP of Player Personnel Mike Hazen described as “a little bit of a stiff neck.”

That, in turn, forced Kalish to shut down his baseball activities for a bit, and forced him to renew his progression back to the field, starting with hitting off a tee. Hazen suggested that the outfielder is making improvement to the point where “it should not be long” before he is in a lineup. With the downtime, Kalish — barring a setback — should be fairly close to playing the outfield by the time he is ready to play in games. While he will split his time between DH and the outfield in deference to the fact that he is recovering from an injury, the Sox are optimistic that he will be able to play in the outfield by the end of the month.

–Right-hander Junichi Tazawa, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, has made significant steps forward in his rehab assignment with the Hi-A Salem Red Sox in recent outings. It took him a while to recover his velocity, which was sitting in the mid-80s both while he rehabbed in Fort Myers and also in his initial outings for Salem. Tazawa was shelled for 12 runs in 7 1/3 innings over his first two rehab starts, walking five and striking out just three. However, in his most recent three starts, he’s tossed nine shutout innings, struck out eight and walked one, and perhaps more importantly, his velocity bumped back up to 91.

“He’€™s been slow getting back there, but he’€™s been solid,” Hazen said of the 25-year-old. “He’€™s getting more comfortable with the slider, the split, competing under the lights. He’€™s been good.”

Tazawa will make one more start with Salem before his 30-day rehab assignment expires; after that, the Sox will determine the pitcher’s next step. Since he will be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, the Sox will need a 40-man roster spot for Tazawa. However, they currently have an opening on the 40-man thanks to the trade that sent Mike McKenry to the Pirates, and the Sox can also move Rich Hill to the 60-day disabled list to create a roster spot when needed.

It is noteworthy that the Sox have one current vacancy on the 40-man roster and one potential one, since that means that the team can both add Tazawa back from the 60-day DL and, conceivably, call up Andrew Miller from the minors without having to remove anyone from the 40-man roster. However, multiple team officials said that the McKenry trade had nothing to do with freeing a roster spot for either Tazawa or Miller, and that it was motivated by a desire instead to promote catcher Ryan Lavarnway — one of the most consistent hitters in the system — to Pawtucket. (For more on Lavarnway’s promotion, click here.) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: junichi tazawa, ryan kalish, Will Middlebrooks, yamaico navarro

Jerry Remy on D&C: Stanley Cup Game 7 a reminder of 1978 Red Sox-Yankees playoff

06.15.11 at 9:48 am ET
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NESN analyst Jerry Remy made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, following the Red Sox‘ 4-0 loss to the Rays Tuesday night that snapped a nine-game winning streak. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“It doesn’t get any better than that,” Remy said of the Sox’ impressive run that includes road sweeps of the Yankees and Blue Jays. “That New York and Toronto series was about as good as you can get. Everything was going right ‘€” the pitching was going right, the defense was going right, the offense was going incredibly right. It was fun to sit there and watch that. It was just bombs away. They were taking early leads, they were putting people away early, putting them away late. It just does not get any better than that.

“But it just goes to show how fickle this game is. You come into a game last night with a tired [Rays] team that got in late in the morning but they had a fresh starter in [James] Shields, who pitched a great game against them and just shut them down. That’s the way this game goes. You run into a hot pitcher, and he can put you to sleep in a day.”

Remy said he expects the Rays to hang around but that ultimately the Sox will battle the Yankees for AL East supremacy.

“I still think it’s going to be a two-horse race, but the Rays aren’t as bad as people predicted,” he said. “They thought when they lost all those players that they were going to be terrible. They’re not going to be terrible, because they’ve got decent pitching. Last night was a good example. And they’ve got a couple of guys that can do that to you. So, they’re going to be competitive, there’s no question about that. They’re offense is a little bit shaky, but their pitching and defense is very good. And if you’ve got pitching and defense, you should be able able to hang around.”

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Read More: james shields, Jerry Remy, Roberto Luongo, Stanley Cup finals

Miller on opt-out decision: ‘It would be a shame not to keep it going’ with Sox

06.15.11 at 3:32 am ET
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Andrew Miller turned in a dominant outing for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, one day before the Red Sox must call him up to the majors or give him the right to opt out of his contract. He pitched 5 1/3 innings for the PawSox, allowing a run while striking out 10, walking one and lowering his ERA in Triple-A this year to 2.47.

Miller made clear that his goal remains to pitch in the major leagues. Regardless of whether he is summoned as a starter (the role in which he’s spent the full season, and in which he’s identified a routine that has yielded particularly strong results in his last four starts, in which he’s struck out 26 and walked three) or reliever, the veteran of parts of five big league seasons looks forward to competing again at the game’s highest level.

‘€œI’€™m property of the Boston Red Sox. If they call me up, they can do whatever they want with me. I’€™ll happily do it, and I’€™ll give it everything I’€™ve got. I’€™ll start, I’€™ll relieve, I’€™ll play second base. It doesn’€™t matter,’€ he told reporters. ‘€œIf there’€™s a spot in the big leagues, I want it. That’€™s what we all, that’€™s where everyone in this locker room wants to be. That’€™s what we’€™re working for I guess.’€

If the Sox do not call up Miller on Wednesday, then he would find no shortage of suitors for his services if he opted out of his contract, which calls for him to make $1.2 million (prorated for the portion of the season that he spends in the majors) if promoted to the big leagues. He has shown a mid-90s fastball and nasty slider in the minors this year, and of late, he’s been throwing strikes with both.

Yet while the major leagues are, of course, Miller’s goal, the pitcher also underscored that he is not in a rush to move to another organization, emphasizing that he is more focused on his long-term career than on returning to the majors at any cost. After all, the left-hander turned down big league deals from other clubs during the offseason in favor of a minor league contract with the Sox that would allow him to develop without artificial constraints (in the case of a big league deal, the fact that Miller was out of options raised the possibility that an organization other than the one that signed him could claim him if he was exposed to waivers while being sent to the minors).

While he is eager for the opportunity to return to the majors, Miller — whose career prior to 2011 had steadily moved in the wrong direction, with a 15-26 record and 5.84 ERA in 79 big league games with the Marlins and Tigers — also values the progress that he has made in the Sox organization, and suggested that he’€™d like to remain with the franchise.

‘€œThe Red Sox in general in every aspect have given me every opportunity. They’€™ve been first class. I don’€™t have any complaints at all. Certainly, it’€™s a good place, good fit for me,’€ Miller told reporters. ‘€œThings are certainly going the right direction here. It would certainly be a shame not to keep it going. ‘€¦

‘€œConsidering the year I had last year, the ups and downs I’€™ve had the last probably year and a half, for me, it’€™s been nice to go out and show that it’€™s still there and I’€™m showing here that I think I can be a good major league pitcher,’€ he added. ‘€œAt this point, when I came in and signed with Boston, I knew that it was kind of a long-term project. I wasn’€™t going to short-sight anything. I think I’€™ve come back and I’€™ve started to establish that I’€™m on the way back. I’€™m looking to go to the major leagues and stay up for a long time. It doesn’€™t matter when it starts. It’€™s more the long term.’€

Miller is scheduled to talk with Red Sox GM Theo Epstein on Wednesday about his future with the organization. While it is certainly possible that the Sox could decide to promote him to the majors — either to insert in the rotation as a starter or as a member of the bullpen — his statements also suggest that the discussion of the pitcher’s best long-term interests will leave the pitcher open-minded about the opt-out if the Sox do not elect to call him up immediately.

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Team sources: No decision on Miller until after Wednesday meeting

06.14.11 at 10:56 pm ET
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Multiple Red Sox sources said on Tuesday night that no decision has been made regarding the next step for left-hander Andrew Miller, with one suggesting instead that “everything is open” until the team and pitcher sit down to discuss his future with the organization on Wednesday.

Miller, who struck out 10 and walked one in 5 1/3 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, has an opt-out in his minor league contract if he is not called up by Wednesday. However, sources indicate that the Sox are unlikely to let the situation come to that, and that they plan on talking with the pitcher about how to continue what both sides have referred to as a “partnership” beyond the opt-out date — whether in the majors or minors.

A left-hander with a history of control troubles, Miller has been dominant while attacking the strike zone of late, striking out 26 and walking three hitters in his last 25 1/3 innings, spanning four starts. On the year, he now has a 2.47 ERA in 13 games for the PawSox.

While a report in the Boston Globe suggested that Miller will be called up and added to the rotation in the upcoming series against the Padres, the team sources said that the Sox had not yet made a decision about whether Miller will be called up, or if he is promoted to the majors, how his role might be defined. Sox GM Theo Epstein is slated to meet with Miller to discuss the pitcher’s path going forward on Wednesday.

“I know Theo plans to sit with him [Wednesday] and kind of talk about his status,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona explained before Tuesday’€™s game against the Rays. “He’s throwing the ball great. He’€™s somebody we’€™ve obviously watched since spring training with anticipation because of what he potentially can do but I do know Theo is going to sit and visit with him.

“There’€™s a lot to like about him,” added Francona. “He’€™s a good kid. He’€™s grounded. He went through a lot of stuff in the winter talking to him because I wanted him here so bad. I kind of spent some time talking to him. He’€™s just a likeable kid. I think he wants to succeed here. I think he likes it here.”

For more on the unusual decision that the Sox and Miller face with the pitcher, click here.

Read More: andrew miller, opt-out,

Closing Time: Sox winning streak stopped by ‘Big Game James’ in Tampa Bay

06.14.11 at 9:36 pm ET
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The Red Sox lineup had battered all opponents over the first 10 games of the month, pounding out 87 runs in bludgeoning one opponent after another. However, the team’s lumber continued to slumber in Tampa Bay, one day after the team enjoyed an off day.

The Sox managed just five hits against Rays starter James Shields, who was dazzlingly efficient through the first seven innings before his command faltered in the eighth.

The 4-0 loss marked the sixth time the Sox had been shut out this season, and the first since May 29. The unexpected silence of the lineup led to a hard-luck loss by Boston starter Tim Wakefield on a night when the Rays could muster little against him.


–The Sox appeared poised to strike early against Shields, putting runners on the corner with one out in the first inning for Kevin Youkilis. But Youkilis, who has been surprisingly wretched with runners on third and fewer than two outs this year, continued to struggle in those run-scoring situations. Youkilis swung and missed at a 2-2 changeup. For the year, he is now 1-for-15 (.067) with 10 strikeouts in 20 plate appearances in situations where contact would likely result in an out.

That was simply the beginning of a dreadful night for Youkilis, who grounded into double plays in each of his next two plate appearances. It was just the second game in his career in which he’d grounded into two twin killings, with the other having come almost five years ago, on July 7, 2006, against the White Sox.

–Shields was terrific against a number of hitters against whom he had struggled in his career. Though Dustin Pedroia carried a .433 average against Shields into the game, he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a surprising (and unsuccessful) bunt attempt in the first inning, in which Pedroia — who was bunting for a hit — popped the ball back to Shields. David Ortiz, who entered the proceedings with a .364 average and three homers against Shields, was likewise 0-for-3 with a walk.

–In an indication of how good Wakefield’s knuckleball was inside the Tropicana Dome, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia committed a pair of passed balls, both in the sixth inning, in permitting the Rays to score an insurance run without benefit of a hit. Wakefield issued a one-out walk to Evan Longoria, who advanced to second on the first passed ball. After a walk and a groundout, Saltalamacchia’s second passed ball permitted Longoria to cross the plate to give Shields some breathing room in what had been a 1-0 game.

Tommy Hottovy, against whom hitters were 0-for-6 entering Monday, permitted his first major league hits (both on soft liners) and also hit a batter in allowing his first two big league runs in the eighth inning.

–In his first game in Tampa Bay as a member of the visiting team, Carl Crawford went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. In his first at-bat — in which he was heavily booed as he stepped to the plate, before a wave of cheers overtook the initial hostilities — he grounded out with the bases loaded to end the Sox’ only real threat of the game.


–Wakefield turned in an outstanding outing. Though his knuckleball moved so much that it became an issue, at times, to command the ball (resulting in five walks), he logged seven innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) while permitting four hits. He matched a season-high in innings pitched. Meanwhile, Wakefield also logged 119 pitches, the most he’s thrown in a game since 2003.

Adrian Gonzalez saw his streak of nine straight games with an RBI come to an end, but he collected three hits in four at-bats. It was his 11th three-hit game of the year, tied for the most in the majors.

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