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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 25 (All times eastern)

Boston Red Sox (47-55) at Tampa Bay Rays (49-53), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Jon Lester (10-7, 2.50) Tampa Bay - David Price (10-7, 3.06)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox pay a visit to Tropicana Field on Friday night to kick off a three-game series against David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.

With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching and both teams at the bottom of the American League East standings, this, however unlikely, has the potential to be the last start for Lester in a Red Sox uniform and for Price in a Rays uniform.

Both pitchers are 10-7 on the season.

"I just try to make sure I go out and pitch well for these guys in here," Lester said. "If these guys are happy with the way I'm throwing and how I'm going about my business, that's all I care about. Like I've said in the past, that other stuff will take care of itself."

Boston's ace has gone 6-1 with a 1.67 ERA over his last 10 starts and has not allowed an earned run in three of his last four outings. Lester pitched eight shutout innings against Kansas City in his last start, as he allowed just four hits while striking out eight and walking two batters.

Meanwhile, Price has won each of his last five starts. He boasts a 1.72 ERA over his last 10 outings and has completed eight innings seven times in that span. Most recently, he held the Minnesota Twins off the scoreboard for eight frames on Saturday, yielding only four hits while striking out nine and walking nobody.

This marks the first time Price has faced the Red Sox since hitting David Ortiz with a pitch on May 30, which prompted a benches-clearing brawl. The bad blood between the two goes back to Game 2 of last year's ALDS, when Ortiz homered twice off Price and drew the left-hander's ire by admiring one of the shots.

"I have no more respect for him," Ortiz said following the May incident. "Last year, we kick his (butt) in the playoffs. ... First at-bat of this season, he drills me. That means it's war. It's on. Next time he better bring the gloves."

However, Ortiz injured his back on a check swing late in Thursday's game in Toronto and is considered day to day with back spasms, according to manager John Farrell. It would be a big blow for Boston's lineup if the slugger cannot go, considering Ortiz blasted four home runs and drove in eight runs during the four-game series against the Blue Jays.

Boston is coming off three straight losses in Toronto, including Thursday's 8-0 setback. The Red Sox offense managed only one hit for the game, while starter Rubby De La Rosa was chased after coughing up seven runs (six earned) in only four innings.

Tampa Bay has won a season-best seven in a row as the team now begins a nine- game homestand.

The Rays had Thursday off after they shut out St. Louis by a 3-0 margin a day earlier. Alex Cobb tossed seven shutout frames while notching seven strikeouts, and he also collected his first big league hit with an RBI double in the second inning.

Now, it is Price's turn to try to keep the Rays' streak going.

"We need to win. Period," Price said. "We need to continue to play the baseball that we have."

Tampa Bay is 5-4 against Boston this season, although the Red Sox have outscored Tampa Bay by a 37-30 margin in those meetings. The two teams have occupied the bottom two spots in the AL East since May 16.

07/25 10:48:03 ET

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at UNC

    Tomorrow at 12:58 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Mississippi State at Ole Miss

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at Baltimore

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: NC State at UNC

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
2nd
NCSU 41
BSU 26
 
2nd
PIT 1
CAR 2
 
Half
CHA 55
GSW 49
 
1st
UF 0
UNC 7
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
Half
CHA 55
GSW 49
 
2nd
TOR 21
DAL 30
 
2nd
DET 33
MIL 32
 
2nd
ATL 27
NOP 19
 
1st
HOU 2
LAC 3
 
1st
OKC 9
NYK 5
 
1st
IND 4
ORL 3
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
 
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
1st
VT 0
UVA 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
 
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
 
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
 
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
 
2nd
WASU 76
RICE 72
 
2nd
CSFU 58
USCU 69
 
2nd
GT 47
RIDE 41
 
2nd
TXPA 52
ALAST 61
 
2nd
NCSU 41
BSU 26
 
Half
TCU 31
BRAD 24
 
2nd
WAKE 42
DELST 46
 
2nd
HART 53
EMERSON 33
 
2nd
STJ 29
GONZ 37
 
2nd
CLEM 31
HIGH 26
 
2nd
SYR 43
HC 24
 
2nd
MD 38
MON 31
 
2nd
JVST 46
SAV 35
 
2nd
MIAMI 57
SALA 42
 
2nd
RUTG 33
VANDY 33
 
1st
PETE 37
TENST 20
 
1st
MARS 2
CLST 5
 
1st
JST 2
HOF 3
 
1st
INDST 9
MEM 7
 
1st
UF 0
UNC 7
 
1st
LATU 2
SAMF 4
 
1st
TULA 18
SELA 14
 
1st
NEB 15
TENNM 10
 
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
2nd
PIT 1
CAR 2
 
2nd
NJD 4
DET 2
 
2nd
BUF 1
MON 0
 
2nd
CLB 0
VAN 0
 
2nd
BOS 0
WIN 1
 
1st Intermission
FLA 1
OTT 1
 
1st
STL 0
EDM 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN