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Rays Vs. Red Sox: Jeff Niemann And Erik Bedard Square Off In Game Two

In the second game of today’s day/night doubleheader between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, Jeff Niemann and Erik Bedard will be facing off.

The Red Sox won the day game 3-1, as Jon Lester shut down the Rays’ offense and James Shields made one mistake pitch to Jacoby Ellsbury that resulted in a three-run home run. It was Shields’ 9th complete game and 10th loss…which I think goes to show how little run support he’s received this season.

The Rays will send Jeff Niemann to the mound to try and at least split today’s games. While Niemann struggled in the early season, since returning from the disabled list in early July, Niemann has been an entirely different pitcher. Here are his splits:

Pre DL Trip: 40.1 IP, 47 H, 10 BB, 24 K, 5.58 ERA
Post DL Trip: 43 IP, 34 H, 10 BB, 39 K, 1.65 ERA

Here’s hoping Niemann continues to shine tonight, as Erik Bedard doesn’t look like he’ll be a walk over. For the first time since 2007 — back when he was an Oriole — Bedard has remained healthy for the majority of the season and has thrown over 100 innings. He’s still very effective, posting a 3.55 ERA and averaging nearly one strike out per inning, so the Rays may have a tough time kick-starting their offense after their dismal showing against Lester.

Rays Lineup:

Jennings LF
Damon DH
Longoria 3B
Zobrist 2B
Upton CF
Kotchman 1B
Rodriguez SS
Joyce RF
Chirinos C

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.