Tampa Bay (55-77) at Boston (75-54)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Aug 30, 2005
  • TV: WPXM, NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Curt Schilling wants everyone to relax. He may be a work in progress, but the Boston Red Sox aren’t.

Coming off a disappointing effort in his last start, Schilling will be back on the mound when the Red Sox continue their four-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Despite giving up six runs and nine hits during Thursday’s 7-4 loss at Kansas City, Schilling said Friday that he felt fine physically.

“I feel great. I’m not sore. I’m not really stiff at all,” he said. “If I go out every time from here on out and feel like I did (Thursday) night, I’ll win more than I lose, and when we get to October, I’ll be the pitcher I was last year and the year before.”

Schilling made his third start on April 23 and went on the disabled list six days later with a right ankle bruise after going 1-2. He missed 69 games, then went 4-3 with nine saves in 11 chances while filling in for injured closer Keith Foulke.

On Thursday, Schilling threw 82 pitches in five innings as his ERA rose to 6.89.

“I knew everybody off the field was going to be making a much bigger issue with the results than I was, than we were,” he said. “There’s an opinion around here that Curt Schilling has to be his former self for this team to win a World Series, and I don’t agree with that.

“I think I can help us win one, but if I don’t get back and throw dominating baseball, this team can still win a World Series.”

He was pleased to return to his usual routine as a starter but didn’t enjoy it all that much because the Red Sox lost.

“The only joy out of this comes out of winning,” Schilling said, “especially now.”

The Red Sox have split their last 14 games after Monday’s 10-6 win in the series opener. Boston maintained its 1 1/2 -game lead in the AL East over the second-place New York Yankees.

David Ortiz led the way for Boston with two solo home runs and now has the team lead with 35 homers and 117 RBIs. The Dominican slugger is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with four homers and nine RBIs during his four-game hitting streak.

The Red Sox have scored at least seven runs in 11 consecutive home games.

Travis Lee, Carl Crawford and Jonny Gomes each had two hits for the Devil Rays, who were coming off a franchise-record 9-4 homestand.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Kazmir Oak vs. C. Schilling Bos
10-9 Record 8-8
3.77 ERA 5.69
174 K 87
100 BB 22
1.46 WHIP 1.53