Curt Schilling has had plenty of success against Tampa Bay this season.
He’ll try for his fourth win in as many starts against the Devil Rays as the Boston Red Sox open a four-game series at Fenway Park.
Schilling has won all three of his starts against the Devil Rays this season, posting a 1.16 ERA—his best against any team he has faced more than once this year. The right-hander has allowed just three runs over 23 1-3 innings against Tampa Bay this season.
Schilling pitched a six-hitter in a 5-2 win over the Devil Rays on Tuesday— his third complete game of the season and 82nd of his career.
“He showed up today, he wasn’t talking at all and that’s a great sign,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “When he’s ornery the day pitches, man, that’s good.”
Schilling, who retired 12 in a row after giving up a two-out single in the first inning, struck out seven and walked just one.
“I’ve been working on the changeup for a while,” Schilling said. “Tonight I probably threw more in a game than I have combined in my career, and for the most part it was a good pitch. For almost four months now, I have not had my split for an entire start, much less over a period of starts. I got tired of waiting for it to come back around. I’ve been working to get it back, but in lieu of that I needed something.”
Tampa Bay’s Aubrey Huff, who had two hits against Schilling, was impressed with the performance.
“He was good,” Huff said. “His game plan is stay away, stay away, stay away. He doesn’t make many mistakes.”
The Red Sox could use a strong start after Tim Wakefield allowed the Detroit Tigers six home runs Sunday, matching a modern major league record last reached 64 years ago. Boston still managed to win the game 11-9.
The Devil Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Sunday for their fifth win in nine games. Rookie B.J. Upton, who was benched the previous two games, hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning for his first major league RBI.
Upton, Tampa Bay’s top pick in the 2002 draft, was called up from Triple-A Durham on Aug. 1.
“They gave me a couple days to clear my mind,” said Upton, who entered the game 2-for-14 with two errors at shortstop. “I was a lot more relaxed out in the field. I felt like my old self again.”