Kazmir on the hill in opener vs. Sox
Boston (74-50) at Tampa Bay (47-76), 7:10 p.m. ET
Scott Kazmir will start for the Devil Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field in the first game of a three-game series against the Red Sox.Kazmir is coming off a stellar outing against the Red Sox on Tuesday night when he allowed no runs on four hits, three walks, and eight strikeouts in six innings. The Rays left-hander is comfortable with his mechanics, which he said has led him to feel more confident than at any point in his career. Kazmir has allowed just one run in his last 25 innings and brings a string of seven consecutive quality starts into Monday night's game against the Red Sox. Opposing Kazmir is the Rays killer, Tim Wakefield, who is fresh off his most dominating performance of the season, which came on Monday when the Red Sox knuckleballer held the Rays to two hits over eight scoreless innings. Wakefield is 9-3 in his last 12 starts dating to June 12.
Against the Devil Rays, his career numbers are staggering at 18-2, with a 2.83 ERA. He is 8-0 with a 2.33 ERA at Tropicana Field. After finishing with the Red Sox, the Rays will play four against the A's before going back on the road for six games against the Orioles and Yankees.Pitching matchup
TB: LHP Scott Kazmir (9-7, 3.44 ERA)
Kazmir is 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 14 starts at Tropicana Field this season. BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (14-10, 4.55 ERA)
Opposing hitters are hitting .255 against Wakefield this season. Player to watch
Carl Crawford has a .329 (23-for-70) career average against Wakefield with two home runs and eight RBIs. Tickets
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Tuesday: Devil Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 2-8, 6.17) vs. Red Sox (Jon Lester, 1-0, 5.14), 7:10 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Devil Rays (Edwin Jackson, 3-12, 5.69) vs. Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 13-9, 3.79), 7:10 p.m. ET
Thursday: Devil Rays (Jason Hammel, 1-3, 6.70) vs. Athletics (Chad Gaudin, 9-9, 4.25), 7:10 p.m. ET
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.