The Red Sox will try to get some better results against the Tampa Bay rookie as they continue their playoff push in the opener of a three-game series with the Devil Rays at Tropicana Field.
The Red Sox have won consecutive blowouts against the New York Yankees during the weekend to move within 3 1/2 games of them in the AL East heading into the final week of the season.
Boston is 12-4 against Tampa Bay this season, but the Red Sox lost two of three to the Devil Rays at Fenway Park two weeks ago.
The 20-year-old Kazmir struck out nine during Tampa Bay’s 5-2 win over Boston on Sept. 14.
“He did himself proud,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said afterward. “Not only Fenway, but against a really good Red Sox team, against a legend out there in Pedro. It’s impressive.”
Boston was impressive against Yankees starter Kevin Brown on Sunday. The Red Sox scored four runs in the first inning to chase Brown, and Curt Schilling gave up two runs in seven innings as Boston beat New York 11-4.
The Red Sox, 12-5 winners Saturday, took 11 of 19 from the Yankees to win the season series for the first time in five years.
The Red Sox will likely will wind up with the AL wild-card berth if they don’t catch the Yankees. Boston leads the Anaheim Angels by six games.
Tampa Bay will be playing its first game since beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on Saturday. Geoff Blum hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Devil Rays over the Blue Jays on Saturday.
The final game of the three-game series between Toronto and the Tampa Bay was canceled Sunday because of Hurricane Jeanne, and will not be made up.