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Ray of hope?

Update 3:32 Kazmir's day is done after four innings as he threw 90 pitches. With a limit of 100 there was no point in sending him out for the fifth. Kazmir allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks. Update, 3:05 LHP Scott Kazmir hasn't been particularly sharp in his return, throwing 74 pitches in his first three innings and allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. He's also thrown a wild pitch, and another that glanced off Shawn Riggans' glove for a passed ball. Kazmir has been clocked mostly in the 89-91 mph range, though did hit as high as 93. The Rays got two bad breaks early - Jacoby Ellsbury, who went into the lineup when David Ortiz went out, made a running catch in the first inning to rob Evan Longoria of a two-run double that regular LF Manny Ramirez would not have caught. And Jonny Gomes hit a second-inning drive that clearly hit the yellow stripe in the leftfield corner, and would have been a double, but was called foul.

Update, 1:18 A break for the Rays - the Sox just scratched David Ortiz from their lineup due to tightness in his right knee. Jacoby Ellsbury will play left, with Manny Ramirez taking over at DH. The new Sox lineup is below. The Sox are already shorthanded, having not made a move to replace OF Brandon Moss, who had his appendix removed during Saturday night's game.

Update, 1:05 Not only does it look like there will be a game today, but it apparently will start on time and should be play uninterrupted as the rain has cleared out.

The Rays will have B.J. Upton back in the lineup, though there is still some concern how his strained left shoulder will feel on a swing and miss. And of course the big news is they will have Scott Kazmir back on the mound for his first start of the season.

The lineup:
Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Upton, cf
Pena, 1b
Longoria, 3b
Gomes, dh
Hinske, rf
Riggans, c
Bartlett, ss
Kazmir, p

Ellsbury, lf
Pedroia, 2b
Youkilis, 1b
Ramirez, dh
Lowell, 3b
Varitek, c
Drew, rf
Crisp, cf
Lugo, ss
Lester, p

It is cold and wet - again - in Boston this morning, but what was once a horrible forecast has been upgraded and it now seems possible, and even likely according to the smiling local TV weather folks, that today's game will be played. The forecast is that the rain will be down to a drizzle by the scheduled 1:35 start time. It is still cold, however: 46 a little after 10 this morning, with a windchill of 41.
The Rays leave after the game, or the postponement announcement, for Toronto with an off-day on Monday. The Sox play in Detroit Monday so they may be eager to make a decision if the rain is going to be an issue.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:35am]


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