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Red Sox vs. Rays matchup, 6/29

06.29.10 at 10:26 am ET
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After concluding interleague play with a sterling 13-5 mark, the Red Sox return home Tuesday to begin a crucial two-game series against the Rays. Just two games behind the Yankees, this series will be critical for the Sox to keep pace with the first-place team, as the All-Star break draws closer.

Taking the hill for the Red Sox is John Lackey who is 8-3 with a 4.69 ERA. This will be Lackey’€™s third start this season against the Rays. In his last start against Colorado, Lackey received the loss, giving up 10 hits, five earned runs and one home run.

The Red Sox may need to rely heavily on their offense, a tough task with Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez sidelined. Marco Scutaro and J.D. Drew has faced James Shields the most, combining for three homers and 11 RBI.

As for the Rays, James Shields, who is 6-7 with a 4.55 ERA will get the nod and look to rebound from his past few starts in June, a month that has seen him post a 1-4 record with a 7.40 ERA. Also, when pitching in Fenway Park, Shields has struggled greatly against the Sox with a record of 1-6 and a 7.53 ERA.

Red Sox vs. James Shields

Marco Scutaro (44 plate appearances), .250 AVG/ .277 OBP/ .341 SLG, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

J.D. Drew (31), .355/ .412/ .677, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

David Ortiz (28), .393/ .485/ .857, 7 doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (28), .107/ .219/ .143, 1 double, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts

Jason Varitek (24), .167/ .200/ .292, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (21), .143/ .182/ .333, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 12 strikeouts

Victor Martinez (16), .375/ .375/ .438, 1 double, 3 RBI, 5 strikeouts

Mike Cameron (6), .167/.167/.333, 1 double, 2 strikeout

Eric Patterson (6), .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeout

Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald have not faced the Rays pitcher.

Tampa Bay vs. John Lackey

Hank Blalock (72 plate appearances), .347 AVG/ .413 OBP/ .528 SLG, 7 doubles, 2 homeruns, 8 RBI, 8 walks, 11 strikeouts

Carl Crawford (38), .421/.421/.605, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 strikeout

Carlos Pena (26), .269/.424/.538, 1 double, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 7 walks, 8 strikeouts

Jason Bartlett (19), .368/.400/.737, 1 double, 3 triples, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

B.J. Upton (18), .167/ .211/ .389, 1 double, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Evan Longoria (11), .273/ .333/ .455, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Ben Zobrist (8), .375/.444/.375, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Reid Brignac (8), .375/.375/.500, 1 double, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Kelly Shoppach (6), .167/.333/.167, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Willy Aybar (4), .500/.667/ 1.250, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

John Jaso (2), .500/ .667/ .500, 1 walk

Sean Rodriguez is 0-2, while Dioner Navarro has never faced the Red Sox pitcher.

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