Red Sox vs. Rays: Lineups and notes

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Red Sox vs. Rays: Lineups and notes

BOSTON -- Today's Red Sox-Rays lineups and pregame notes, courtesy of the Red Sox'P.R. department:

FRIDAY'SLINEUPS

RED SOX
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
David Ortiz DH
Josh Reddick RF
Marco Scutaro SS
Carl Crawford LF
Jason Varitek C
Mike Aviles 3B

Josh Beckett P

RAYS
Desmond Jennings LF
B.J. Upton CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Johnny Damon DH
Ben Zobrist 2B
Matt Joyce RF
John Jaso C
Reid Brignac SS

James Shields P

LEADING SINCE JULY
Since July 1, Jacoby Ellsbury leads the majors with 43 extra-base hits and 178 total bases . . . Since the start of July, he is tied for the A.L. lead with 18 homers and 5 triples.

CATCHING RAYS
Tonights starter, Josh Beckett, has pitched 17.0 scoreless innings against the Rays this season over two starts in which he allowed just an infield single in each, both at Tampa Bay (9.0 IP on June 15; 8.0 IP on July 17) . . . According to Elias, he became just the second pitcher in the live-ball era (since 1920) with consecutive starts against an opponent of at least 8.0 IP and no more than one combined hit and walk allowed, joining the Dodgers Dazzy Vance, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 against the Phillies in 1925.

SEPTEMBER MOMENTS
Marco Scutaro leads the majors (minimum 50 PA) with a .444 average (20-for-45) in September and ranks second with 16 RBI in the month, trailing only Detroits Victor Martinez (17). He has driven in at least one run in seven of his last nine games . . . Ellsbury is 22-for-60 (.367) since Sept. 1, leading the majors with 11 extra-basse hits (7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR).

SAVINGS ACCOUNT
With 29 saves, Jonathan Papelbon is one shy of becoming the first pitcher ever to record 30 or more saves in each of his first six full seasons (2006-11) . . . He has converted his last 24 chances since May 13, the longest stretch of his career and the second-longest save streak in the A.L. this year, but has gone 28 days without a save chance, the longest single-season span of his career as a closer . . . He has a 21-inning scoreless streak over his last 20 games with 25 strikeouts in that stretch, the longest active scoreless streak in the major leagues and the second-longest single-season run of his career (22.0 IP, 54-62606) . . . As a team, the Sox have gone without a save in their last 25 games, the clubs longest since a 25-game stretch from June 15-July 15, 2004 . . . Prior to that, Bostons last longest streak without a save was a 44-gamer, July 1-Aug. 19, 1987.

Merloni: Pablo Sandoval is the key to the bottom of Red Sox order

Merloni: Pablo Sandoval is the key to the bottom of Red Sox order

The guys on The Baseball Show discuss Pablo Sandoval lighting it up in spring training and if he could continue that in the regular season.

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Chris Sale threw five shutout innings and Pablo Sandoval continued his torrid spring with two more hits as the Red Sox routed the Twins, 7-2, Sunday at the Twins' Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Twins box score

Sale allowed six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts, in his 91-pitch outing. Manager John Farrell had told reporters before the game that Sale was scheduled to throw between 95 and 100 pitches. He has 26 strikeouts and 2 walks in 21 spring-training innings.

Sandoval lifted his exhibition average to .370 with a 2-for-3 performance, which included a double.

The Red Sox also got home runs from Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi and Steve Selsky as they rallied from a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the seventh inning and four in the eighth.