For starters: Rays at Red Sox, 1st of 4
UPDATE, 6:22: Maddon said Rodney is so off tonight he can go be "a tourist" which makes Peralta the likely closer. ... He said Escobar was adamant he could play, and that they just wanted to give Myers another day. ... Maddon said they don't have much on Sox rookie starter Brandon Workman but hope he doesn't pitch as well as Houston rookie Jarred Cosart.
UPDATE, 4:50: SS Yunel Escobar is back in the Rays lineup for the first time since the All-Star break, his right hamstring suitably improved. OF Wil Myers is out again, though said his left wrist feels close to 100 percent and he is available to pinch hit.
DEVELOPING: The Rays take their 20-4 run to Fenway Park tonight to open a four-game series with the Red Sox that could shape the American League East race.
The Rays start the day 1 1/2 games back of the Red Sox, who have led the East for most of the season.
Much of the Rays' recent run of success has come against some of the AL's worst teams, their last 17 games against the Astros, White Sox, Twins and Jays, so this four-game series will be a bigger test.
"Here we go,'' Rays 3B Evan Longoria said. "We're right where we want to be.''
The Rays have struggled against the Sox this season, losing 9 of the 12 games and hitting only .235.
LHP Matt Moore will be on the mound for the Rays against Red Sox rookie RHP Brandown Workman.
The Rays will decide this afternoon on the status of SS Yunel Escobar, who has been out since leaving the July 14 game with a right hamstring strain, and OF Wil Myers, who sat out Sunday with a sore wrist.
Here is the Red Sox lineup:
Rays lineup when available.