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Red Sox Vs. Rays: David Price Tries To Earn Tampa Bay Series Split

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price takes the mound Thursday as the sliding Rays try to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Rays face the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay has lost seven of its last nine games, and it had lost seven of eight before last night's 13-3 win. The slump has taken Tampa Bay from in control of a Wild Card spot and still in contention for the American League East title all the way down to a 5½-game deficit in the Wild Card standings with time running out.

In such a pinch it's good to have a stabilizing figure such as Price. Price is among the handful of AL Cy Young hopefuls, and he may lead the class. He leads all starters in the majors with a 2.54 ERA, and he's struck out 8.7 batters per nine innings pitched.

Here are the lineups:

For the Rays:

1. LF Desmond Jennings

2. CJ B.J. Upton

3. SS Ben Zobrist

4. 3B Evan Longoria

5. RF Matt Joyce

6. 2B Jeff Keppinger

7. DH Luke Scott

8. 1B Carlos Pena

9. C Jose Molina

LHP David Price

For the Red Sox:

1. CF Pedro Ciriaco

2. 2B Dustin Pedroia

3. DH Cody Ross

4. C Ryan Lavarnway

5. 1B Mauro Gomez

6. 3B Mike Aviles

7. RF Daniel Nava

8. LF Scott Podsednik

9. SS Jose Iglesias

RHP Clay Buchholz

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. The game is televised on Sun Sports.

For more on the Rays, please be sure to check out our blog DRaysBay and SB Nation Tampa Bay for all the latest news and updates. Baseball Nation has you covered for news for all 30 MLB teams.

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