On May 25 at Texas, the Red Sox roughed up McCarthy, sending him to an early exit after just two innings and four runs earned. Gabbard, making his second start since replacing the injured Curt Schilling in the rotation, will look to pitch more like he did during a May 25 callup against Atlanta than during his last start, at Seattle.
In that earlier start, he struck out seven Braves, allowed just two runs, and got the win in five innings. On Tuesday, however, 12 Mariners reached base against the Red Sox lefty in just 3 1/3 innings.
BOS: LHP Kason Gabbard (1-0, 6.48 ERA)
Gabbard has never faced the Rangers. He has been stellar in 12 career innings at Fenway Park, allowing just two runs and striking out 13 batters.
TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-4, 5.90 ERA)
McCarthy's days as a blue-chip prospect in the White Sox system might be over, but he is just 23 and 6-foot-7, numbers that he can still use to his advantage. He has been on the disabled list since June 10 with a blister on his right middle finger. McCarthy has a 4.11 career ERA against the Red Sox in 15 1/3 innings.
Player to watch
Will Boston center fielder Coco Crisp, battling a sprained thumb, play against McCarthy, whom he has tagged for a home run and a double in five career at-bats? Or will rookie Jacoby Ellsbury replace him again in the lineup? Red Sox fans will be watching.
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Official game notes
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Tuesday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 9-5, 3.80) vs. Devil Rays (Scott Kazmir, 5-4, 4.26), 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 8-8, 4.31) vs. Devil Rays (Edwin Jackson, 1-8, 6.88), 1:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 11-2, 3.38) vs. Devil Rays (J.P. Howell, 1-2, 5.19), 7:05 p.m. ET