Dice-K, Sox have brooms ready

Dice-K, Sox have brooms ready

The Yankees are struggling with the Angels, so the Red Sox have a perfect opportunity to keep taking advantage of facing the Rays, who own the Majors' worst record, during Wednesday's series finale.

To put the stamp on a sweep, Boston will send rookie phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka to the bump.

Dice-K's eager to prove himself after he missed his bid to join his two teammates with 15 wins against the Rays on Aug. 15. The Japanese righty yielded four runs during a rocky third inning against the Rays and finished with six runs on eight hits charged to him.

In fact, each of his last two losses have come at the hands of the Rays, something the 26-year-old will certainly look to correct. He's followed up a win with a loss, and vice versa, over the last seven starts before a no-decision Aug. 10, although he's also allowed two or fewer runs during each of his previous four starts (five total runs allowed).

Opposing him is Rays righty Edwin Jackson, who will use Wednesday evening as a benchmark to see how much he's grown this season. Jackson's 3-12 record is anything but spectacular, but several times lately he's fallen victim to poor run support.

Jackson's come a long way since Opening Day and has strung together four quality outings heading into his latest start. One of the most noticeable changes is in the 23-year-old's composure: Jackson no longer crumbles at the first sign of trouble.

This was evident during his last start on Friday, when he allowed seven hits and walked five, but still hung tough through six innings and permitted the American League Central-leading Indians to score just twice on his watch.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-9, 3.79 ERA)
Dice-K is holding lefties to a .222 average.

TB: RHP Edwin Jackson (3-12, 5.69 ERA)
Jackson's 2.94 career August ERA is at least three points lower than any other non-playoff month.

Player to watch
J.D. Drew is 2-for-3 with an RBI in his career against Jackson, and both of those hits are doubles. Teammate Mike Lowell is 2-for-7 with a home run and two RBIs.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WEEI 850, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 15-5, 3.15) at White Sox (John Danks, 6-11, 5.30), 8:11 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 7-5, 4.25) at White Sox (Jon Garland, 8-9, 4.84), 8:11 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 15-10, 4.35) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 9-8, 3.42), 3:55 p.m. ET