Rainout means Sox likely to face Price in makeup

Rainout means Sox likely to face Price in makeup
July 25, 2013, 9:30 pm
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BOSTON – A steady rain began to fall early Thursday afternoon and continued into the evening, washing out the series finale between the Red Sox and Rays at Fenway Park. The game will be made up on Monday at 6:10 p.m.
While it is difficult to give up an off day at any point in the season, calling the game early, before a pitch was thrown, represented the best option.
“Well, it certainly beat the alternative,” said manager John Farrell. “We didn’t want to get into a start-and-then-stop situation.  And if we didn’t get past an official game, does that cause us to lose John Lackey over the next four or five days?  So that, in addition to Monday being the best of all available alternatives to all sides, seemed to make the most sense.”
The next scheduled off day for the Red Sox is Aug. 12.
Lackey, the veteran right-hander scheduled to start Thursday, will now pitch Friday in the series opener in Baltimore.  He will be followed in the rotation by right-hander Ryan Dempster, lefties Jon Lester and Felix Doubront, and righty Brandon Workman.
“Keeping four of the five guys on their normal turn, despite John and Ryan getting an extra day,” Farrell said. “And just felt like with Lester and Doubront in those slots, felt like that was the way to go.”
“It makes [Workman] available out of the bullpen over the next two days, as well.”
Lackey last faced the Orioles on June 15 at Baltimore, earning the win, going seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts. In 20 career starts against the O’s he is 12-4 with a 3.31 ERA.  In 10 career starts in Camden Yards, he is 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA.
The Orioles are scheduled to start right-hander Chris Tillman on Friday, followed by Scott Feldman on Saturday and Jason Hammel in the series finale on Sunday.
The Rays travel to New York for a three-game series beginning on Friday against the Yankees. Jeremy Hellickson, who was scheduled to pitch Thursday, will pitch the series opener followed by Chris Archer and Matt Moore.
The rotation shuffling for the Rays and Sox could bring a rematch of Wednesday, with left-handers David Price and Doubront squaring off again. Price beat the Red Sox 5-1 on a five-hitter. Rays manager Joe Maddon has said he has not yet decided whether he will go with Price or right-hander Roberto Hernandez – with whoever doesn’t face the Sox starting Tuesday against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.  
However, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which Price – barring anything unforeseen – is not on the mound Monday night at Fenway. Hernandez took the loss on Tuesday, the Rays’ only loss of the series, while Price dominated the Sox offense Wednesday night. And with the Rays leaving Fenway after the rainout just a half-game behind the Sox in the American League East, it is likely Maddon will go with the reigning Cy Young Award winner in a divisional matchup. In nine career games at Fenway Price is 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA and two complete games, including Wednesday’s in which he needed just 97 pitches, 72 for strikes for a 74.2 percent strike rate.  In five starts since coming off the disabled list, Price is 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA.
Doubront recorded his 12th quality start Wednesday night, matching Lackey for the team lead. He took the loss, though, ending a career-high seven-start undefeated streak, since his last previous loss on June 8.  Doubront has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 17 of his 18 starts this season, including each of his past 13 since May 16.  It is the longest such single-season streak by a Sox lefty since 1920, and longest by an AL lefty this season, tied with Oakland’s Bartolo Colon and Jarrod Parker for the longest streak in the league, and second longest in the majors behind Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke’s past 16 starts.
With the rainout, the Sox took a loss in the series, dropping two of three games to Tampa Bay.  It was the Sox’ first loss in a home series since dropping two of three to the Blue Jays May 10-12. They had been 8-0-1 since then.  The game on Monday will count as a one-game series.