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Red Sox always happy to play Rays

Red Sox always happy to play Devil Rays

It's the top against the bottom, the best against the worst, the kings against the pawns.

However it's spelled out, The Red Sox enter their three-game series against the Devil Rays, the team with the worst record in the Majors, with both past and present on its side.

The Sox are 5-1 against the Devil Rays this season, outscoring them, 47-22. They lead the all-time series, 98-53, and have won 51 of the 66 games at Fenway Park since 2000.

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Tim Wakefield will look to continue the winning trend when he makes his 24th start of the season. Wakefield has 17 career wins against Tampa Bay, more than any other pitcher in Major League history. He's received a decision in every start this season, including a loss to the Angels in his last outing. In that game, he allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings of work.

Boston will face right-hander James Shields for the second time this year. In late July, the Sox managed three runs and six hits in five innings off Shields. His last time on the mound, Shields threw a great game against Detroit, surrendering just one run on five hits and picking up a win. His nine wins are tied for the most among Devil Rays starters.

Pitching matchup
TB: RHP James Shields (9-7, 4.32 ERA)
Shields is 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA in three career starts against Boston.

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (13-10, 4.81 ERA)
Wakefield is 17-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 34 career games against Tampa Bay.

Player to watch
Designated hitter David Ortiz is 3-for-8 (.375) with two home runs and three RBIs in his career against Shields.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Rays (Scott Kazmir, 9-7, 3.58) at Red Sox (Jon Lester, 1-0, 6.43), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 1-8, 6.35) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 13-8, 3.59), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day

Geremy Bass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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