Wakefield set to wrap up homestand

Wakefield set to wrap up homestand

Though many of the faces have changed this season, the Red Sox might well maintain the swagger they've had at Fenway Park for the last several years. They go into Thursday's contest against the Devil Rays looking for a victory that would give them a 7-3 record in their first homestand of the season.

"We started out a little cold against Toronto, but we're playing good ball right now," said Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "We're pitching well, we're playing good defense. When we get opportunities to score, we're scoring."

They scored their share on Wednesday, rolling to a 9-1 romp over the Devil Rays.

In this one, the Red Sox send knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to the mound. The Rays counter with talented young lefty Scott Kazmir.

The Red Sox are pleased that they've been able to post a solid record despite the temporary loss of leadoff hitter Coco Crisp.

"We're getting better, we're starting to swing the bats better," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "It's a matter of time. We have to get healthier, we need to get Coco back in the lineup."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (1-2, 4.34 ERA)
The veteran suffered a tough-luck loss in his last start against the Mariners, going nine innings but falling on the wrong end of a 3-0 score. If there is a team Wakefield has had good fortune against in his career, it's the Devil Rays. Last year against Tampa Bay, Wakefield was 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in five outings. In his career dealing vs. the Rays, Wakefield is 13-1 with a 2.96 ERA.

TB: LHP Scott Kazmir (1-1, 4.82 ERA)
Kazmir followed up a solid pitching performance against the Blue Jays on April 9 with another good outing Friday against the Royals, when he struck out six in six innings while getting tagged for two runs in a no-decision. The 22-year-old left-hander had a 1-1 record with a 3.68 ERA against the Red Sox in 2005.

Player to watch
Youklis is hitting .386 in his last 12 games, driving in 10 runs and scoring nine times.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI-850 AM

Up next
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 3-0, 1.29 ERA) at Blue Jays (RHP A.J. Burnett, 0-1, 6.00), 7:07 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (LHP Lenny DiNardo, 0-0, 3.48 ERA) at Blue Jays (RHP Roy Halladay, 1-1, 4.20), 1:07 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (RHP Matt Clement, 1-1, 7.00 ERA) at Blue Jays (RHP Josh Towers, 0-3, 9.24), 1:07 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.