Tampa Bay (7-10) at Boston (12-6)

Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 28, 2004
  • TV: FSFL, NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After one of their most impressive road trips in years, the Boston Red Sox were eager to keep their momentum going. Thanks to a rainout, they got another day off instead.

The Red Sox look to get back on the field as they open a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park.

Tuesday’s series opener was rained out and rescheduled for Thursday afternoon as part of a day-night doubleheader.

Despite the two-day layoff, the Red Sox, who had an off day on Monday, should enter this series filled with confidence after winning five of six on the road, including a three-game sweep of the archrival New York Yankees during the weekend.

Boston, which has finished second to New York for six straight seasons, has won eight of 10.

Pedro Martinez and Scott Williamson combined on a four-hitter and Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer in Boston’s 2-0 victory at New York on Sunday.

Even before that win, the Red Sox won their first two series of the season against the Yankees for the first time since 1988. The three-game sweep was Boston’s first against New York since Sept. 10-12, 1999.

“Every win is important,” Martinez said. “There’s no doubt that these are the people that we’ve been below, so it’s nice to be able to take advantage of these opportunities against them.”

While Boston averaged 4.5 runs during the six-game trip, Red Sox pitchers posted a 2.33 ERA and held the Blue Jays and Yankees to a .133 average.

“That’s probably the best we’ve pitched in a long time,” center fielder Johnny Damon said. “You can’t blame those guys for not hitting.”

Boston is getting outstanding contributions from its bullpen, which has worked 24 2-3 scoreless innings, holding opponents to an .086 average the last 10 games.

“Our pitching has been phenomenal,” Boston’s Kevin Millar said. “We’re winning games with pitching and defense. That’s what wins baseball games, whether it’s April or August. Right now, we’re starting to get that feel of winning baseball.”

Ramirez is the hottest Red Sox hitter, going 10-for-24 (.477) with two homers and five RBIs on the trip.

Tampa Bay comes to Fenway Park having lost six of eight following a disheartening 6-5 defeat to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Chicago scored three runs in the ninth inning against four relievers, sending the Devil Rays to their fifth loss in seven road games this season.

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella wasn’t pleased with Trever Miller, who gave up a two-out, RBI single to pinch-hitter Kelly Dransfeldt on an 0-2 pitch.

“It’s a tough loss,” Piniella said. “Two-strike pitch with the winning run on second. You let a guy hit a pitch like that. That’s not baseball. It’s a young kid that would’ve swung at anything even if you bounced it in.”

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Starting Pitchers

P. Abbott Phi vs. C. Schilling Bos
3-11 Record 21-6
6.47 ERA 3.26
46 K 203
58 BB 35
1.71 WHIP 1.06