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For starters, Rays at Red Sox (for now)



UPDATE, 9:55: And the rain is starting to fall at Fenway with the game in bottom of the 8th.

UPDATE, 6:43: The tarp is off, the field is being prepared and it appears the game is at least going to start on time. Whether they finish remains to be seen with all the rain expected this way.

UPDATE, 5:49: As of this moment the game is still on, the gates are open and the Red Sox are selling lots of food and merchandise. Meanwhile it is 41 degrees with a feels-like temperature of 34 and raining lightly.

DEVELOPING: In theory, the Rays and Red Sox are going to open a four-day Boston Marathon weekend series tonight, but the forecast remains ominous, with rain expected much of the night. Below is a photo of how Fenway looked this afternoon.

If they do play, here is the Rays lineup:
Bartlett ss
Crawford lf
Zobrist rf
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Upton cf
Burrell DH
Brignac 2b
Navarro c
Davis p

And for the Red Sox:
Scutaro ss
Drew rf
Pedroia 2b
Youkilis 1b
Ortiz dh
Beltre 3b
Hermida lf
Varitek c
Hall cf
Beckett p

Here was the scene at around 2:40 today:

The Sox are going to be shorthanded if the game is played, with OFs Jacoby Ellsbury (sore ribs) and Mike Cameron (kidney stones) unable to play, so they may not mind a postponement, knowing the game can be made up later in the season. The temperature is also an issue, with lows expected in the low 40s tonight. The rain is supposed to continue most of Saturday, though possibly clearing for the Saturday night game, when temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s.

The Rays take two interesting streaks into play tonight, courtesy of PR man Chris Costello:

* Carl Crawford has stolen 27 consecutive bases against Boston since he was last caught on Sep 21, 2005, when Tim Wakefield caught him leaning. The last time he was thrown out  by a catcher was when Jason Varitek got him May 20, 2004. Crawford had 6 steals vs. the Sox on May
3 at Tropicana Field, tying the modern-day MLB record. In his career, Crawford has been successful on 54 of 58 steal attempts vs. the Sox, and his  .931 success rate is the best against them in the last 50 years (min. 30 attempts).

* Ben Zobrist's hit streak ended at 16 on Wednesday, but his walk extended his streak of reaching base in consecutive games to 30 (dating to Sept. 13 at Fenway), which is the second-longest active streak in the AL behind Minnesota's Joe Mauer (33). The Rays team record is 37 by Ben Grieve April 18-May 30, 2001.

Also of note:

* Evan Longoria's 74 RBIs against the AL East since the start of last season are the most of anhy player, 17 more than Boston's Victor Martinez (57).

* The Rays lead the majors with a .356 average with runners in scoring position, and also are first in majors with a .336 average with runners on base.

Here's another view from this afternoon:

[Last modified: Sunday, May 16, 2010 12:15am]


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