If anyone can save Boston from being swept by the Rays for the first time in history, it's Tim Wakefield. Boston's right-hander is 14-2 in 31 appearances against Tampa Bay and sports a 6-0 record with a 2.08 ERA in 16 games at Tropicana Field.
Wakefield has been the picture of consistency this year, allowing three or fewer runs in 14 of his 17 starts, but he has been a victim of poor run support on several occasions.
The Rays will send James Shields to the mound on Thursday. Shields, a righty, went 4-0 in his first five starts, suffering his first loss June 26 after allowing seven runs in five innings at Florida. He earned a no-decision in his last outing, giving up three runs on seven hits in seven innings at Washington.
Shields has not faced the Red Sox in his career, but he is 2-0 at Tropicana Field this season with a 1.38 ERA.
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (6-8, 3.90 ERA)
The Rays are hitting .211 as a team lifetime against Wakefield.
TB: RHP James Shields (4-1, 4.39 ERA)
He owns a 1.38 ERA at Tropicana Field this season.
Player to watch
The Red Sox need to do a better job of containing Carl Crawford. In the Ray's 5-2 win on Wednesday, the speedy outfielder swiped three bases, including a straight swipe of home.
On the Internet
Official game notes
WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)
Friday: Red Sox (LHP Jon Lester, 3-0, 3.08) at White Sox (LHP Mark Buerhle, 9-5, 3.86), 8:35 p.m. ET
Saturday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 10-4, 4.59) at White Sox (RHP Freddy Garcia, 10-5, 4.72) 1:25 p.m. ET
Sunday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 10-4, 4.59) at White Sox (RHP Freddy Garcia, 10-5, 4.72) 1:25 p.m. ET
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.