Red Sox vs. Rays: Lineup, pregame notes

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Red Sox vs. Rays: Lineup, pregame notes

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

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mike Aviles 3B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Conor Jackson LF
Darnell McDonald RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Marco Scutaro SS

Tim Wakefield P

MR. 3,000
Todays starter, Tim Wakefield, owns a club-record 2,997.0 innings pitched with the Red Sox, three innings shy of becoming the first Boston hurler to reach the 3,000-inning plateau . . . Of the original 16 teams, Boston and Cincinnati are the only ones that have not had a pitcher work at least 3,000 innings.

LEADING SINCE JULY
Since July 1, Jacoby Ellsbury leads the majors with 44 extra-base hits and 181 total bases . . . In that time, his 18 homers are tied for third in the A.L. . . He is the only major-leaguer with 50 runs, 50 RBI and 35 extra-base hits since the start of July.
MIKE ON A ROLL
Mike Aviles went 3-for-4 yesterday and has hit safely his last eight starts since Aug. 18, batting .438 (14-for-32) . . . He is batting .361 (26-for-72) since joining the Red Sox on July 30, third-best clip in the A.L. in that time (min. 75 PA) . . . Aviles .361 batting average is the best by a player in his first 25 games with an at-bat to begin a Red Sox career since Sean Casey hit .378 (31-for-82) from March 26-June 6, 2008.

SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 30th save of the season Friday night . . . He became the first pitcher ever to record 30 or more saves in each of his first six full major-league seasons (2006-11) . . . He has not allowed a run in 22.0 innings over his last 21 games since July 17, with 28 strikeouts in that stretch . . . It is the longest active scoreless streak in the majors and matches the longest single-season scoreless run of his career, also 22.0 innings from May 4-June 26, 2006 . . . He has converted his last 25 save opportunities since May 13, the longest stretch of his career and the second-longest save streak in the A.L. this year.

HOLD ON
Daniel Bard recorded his 32nd hold of the season on Friday night, second most in the A.L. to New Yorks David Robertson (33) . . . The 32 holds match Bards single-season club record, set last year . . . Bard is the only major-league pitcher with 30 or more holds in each of the past two seasons.

Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineup: Ortiz a late scratch

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Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineup: Ortiz a late scratch

David Ortiz was a late scratch from Sunday's lineup for undisclosed reasons. Travis Shaw moves up to the fourth spot in the order at first base, Hanley Ramirez becomes the DH and Josh Rutledge will bat seventh at third base.

After extending his streak to 21 games Saturday, Xander Bogaerts faces a familiar foe in R.A. Dickey. So far the matchup has been favorable for the shortstop, batting .364 through 35 at-bats against the knuckleballer. 

Dickey, on the other hand, has been on the wrong side of matchups against Boston since joining the Blue Jays. In 2016 alone, he's allowed eight runs in 9.2 innings in his two starts against the Red Sox. He faces a lineup that has five players who are hitting .275 or better against him through at least 10 career plate appearances against the righty. Shaw leads that charge, going 4-10 so far off Dickey with a homerun and two doubles. Rutledge is the lone Red Sox hitter yet to face Dickey.

The lineups:

BLUE JAYS:
Jose Bautisa RF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Devon Travis 2B
Darwin Barney SS
Kevin Pillar CF
Ezquiel Carrera LF
Josh Thole C
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R.A. Dickey P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Travis Shaw 1B
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
Blake Swihart LF
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David Price P

The price of being the ace

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The price of being the ace

David Price has a chance for his first “ace” moment to show Boston he’s truly the pitcher they paid for.

The bullpen is spent after giving up the game late Saturday, to go with the team dealing with a three game skid -- the longest since their three-game losing streak from April 17th – April 19th.

On top of the Sox not having lost four-straight yet in 2016, Price is back at the Rogers Centre for the first time since his playoff run with the Blue Jays last year.

So this game should have a playoff feel to it -- as much as one can in late May -- especially with the Toronto picking up steam.

And lastly for Price, he’s started to figure things out since making a mechanical adjustment following his atrocious 4.2 inning start against the Yankees earlier in the month.

But he hasn’t had to throw against a top of the line offense yet.

The lefty dominated Houston, much like everyone has this year and also did well against Colorado.

In between those two he did face a strong opponent in Kansas City, but the Royals still haven’t completely gotten things together (although they did mount a ridiculous comeback Saturday against the White Sox).

Toronto’s scored over seven runs in three of their last four, winning all four of those games and seven of the last 10 contests -- putting them four games behind Boston in the AL East standings.

Price does have a few things going for him entering Sunday’s contest.

He threw well against his old team earlier this year -- seven innings, two earned runs, nine strikeouts and zero walks -- when his mechanics weren’t where he wanted them.

Also after being traded to Detroit from Tampa Bay in 2014, Price was dominant in his returning start at Tropicana Field.

Although he took the loss 1-0, the lefty dealt, chucking a one-hitter over eight innings, striking out nine without walking a batter -- and the one run off of him was unearned.

Price has yet to pitch at Comerica Park since leaving the Tigers, so that’s something Boston may deal with later in the year, too.

Now Price has to block all of this from his mind and execute pitches, in what is his biggest test this point in the season.

A lot for him to ignore in what could’ve easily been a regular start had Boston’s bullpen done its job Sunday -- but then again, this is a part of the price of being an ace.

McAdam: Red Sox relievers didn’t do the job vs. Toronto

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McAdam: Red Sox relievers didn’t do the job vs. Toronto

Sean McAdam joins SNC to discuss the Red Sox bullpen giving up a 4-run lead in the late innings of their loss to the Blue Jays.

Watch the video above.