What's new: The Sox are hurting, with 2B Dustin Pedroia (broken foot) definitely out, C Victor Martinez (broken thumb) possibly out and RHP Clay Buchholz (hyperextended knee) needing at least extra rest. Plus, RHP Josh Beckett, INF Mike Lowell and OFs Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida are on the DL. On the other hand, their 22-10 mark since May 24 is the best in the AL East, and they are playing well, getting good starting pitching (though some suspect relief work) and plenty of offense, led by David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre, plus rookie smash Daniel Nava.
Key stat: Closer Jonathan Papelbon, above, has a 5.21 ERA in 20 save opportunities (converting 17) and a 1.98 ERA in 11 non-save appearances. He has allowed a career-high six home runs.
Connections: Sox 1B coach Tim Bogar was a Rays coach, hitting coach Dave Magadan a Tampa product. ... Rays C Kelly Shoppach, 1B Carlos Pena and OF Gabe Kapler are former Sox. Senior adviser Don Zimmer managed in Boston.
Series history: Rays lead season series 4-3, with road team winning all games. Sox lead 131-81 overall, 74-32 at Fenway.