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Doubront ready for critical start against Rays

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ST. PETERSBURG -- When Felix Doubront takes the mound for the Red Sox on Thursday night at Tropicana Field, it will be a lot more than just another start.

For Doubront, it will be a chance to prove that he still belongs in the rotation, even after his inconsistency of late.

"Yeah, to get that confidence," Doubront said. "The work I'm doing now, I know I can get better results. I'm looking forward to pitching tomorrow and prove that everything I've been working on this past week is good."

The last time Doubront started was on May 3 in Texas, when he gave up 12 hits and six runs over 3 2/3 innings. Manager John Farrell went to him in mopup relief on May 8, and Doubront did not respond well, getting blistered for 11 hits and six runs over 5 2/3 innings.

"That was hard, man," Doubront said. "I don't want to repeat any of that."

The Red Sox have had Doubront working on his stride length. The club also altered his program, having him throw his side session two days before his start instead of three days.

"Just working on repeating my delivery, repeating my pitches and throwing strikes," Doubront said. "That's it."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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