AL PLAYOFFS, 5:05 p.m. PT
At Fenway Park, Boston
Red Sox -140 vs Rays (9)
It’s the experienced Red Sox and not the young Rays who have their backs against the wall or Green Monster, if you will. Tampa Bay has scored 18 runs over the past two games to take a 2-1 lead in the best of 7 League Championship Series and regained home field advantage should a Game 6 or 7 be necessary. Tonight the Red Sox throw past Rays killer Tim Wakefield, who has compiled a stellar 19-5 lifetime mark against Tampa Bay. However, Wakefield is 0-2 this year.
And maybe that best exemplifies the dramatic improvement in the Rays, which time and again have come up big when faced with a must-win situation. Now with the chance to take firm command in the series, Tampa Bay sends right hander Andy Sonnanstine, who pitched well against Boston during the regular season. Sonnanstine was the Game 4 winner against Chicago in that series clincher. Perhaps the most revealing stat in the series is that Tampa’s B.J. Upton has five postseason homers and Boston’s David Ortiz can’t buy a single. Not good for Red Sox Nation. RAYS.