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W2W4: ALDS Game 1 -- Red Sox vs. Rays

10/3/2013

• When and where: Fenway Park, Friday at 3:07 p.m. ET

• Starting pitchers: Matt Moore (17-4, 3.29 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)

• Scouting report on Moore: Despite Moore being just 24 years old, he’s pitched on this stage before. With just one start under his belt at the major league level, manager Joe Maddon handed the ball to Moore for Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS against the Texas Rangers.

The result? Seven innings pitched with just two hits allowed against the best hitting team in the majors that year.

This time around though, things are different. Moore has two full seasons under his belt, an All-Star selection this year and his first career complete game shutout out of the way. That shutout came against the Red Sox on July 22 at Fenway Park.

Recent history, however, has proven less glamorous for Moore. After suffering an elbow injury that kept him on the shelf for just over a month shortly following his Fenway shutout, Moore returned on Sept. 3 in time to start six more regular season games. The results were mixed: He maintained a low ERA of 2.79 but walked 20 batters in 29 innings, tied with the Rangers' Yu Darvish for the most in that span.

Among AL left-handed starters, Moore ranked second in walks with 76 in 150 1/3 innings pitched (the leader, Angels starter C.J. Wilson, had only nine more walks in 212 1/3 innings pitched).

• Scouting report on Lester: Much like Moore, Lester is certainly no stranger to pitching in October. He started Game 1 of the 2008 and 2009 ALDS against the Angels, splitting the decisions while allowing a combined three earned runs in 13 innings pitched. Overall, the 29-year-old left-hander has gone 2-3 in postseason play with an ERA of 2.57.

This season, Lester made a full turnaround from his 2012 pitching woes, throwing a career-high 213 1/3 innings while lowering his ERA from last season more than a full run (4.82 to 3.75). In five September starts, Lester put together his strongest month with a 3-0 record and only 10 runs allowed in 35 innings.

Of Lester’s six career postseason starts, his worst came in Game 3 of the 2008 ALCS against the Rays. He allowed four earned runs and two home runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched.

Three Rays players to watch

Wil Myers, RF: The rookie went 2 for 3 with a home run and a double in his only career start against Lester (July 23).

Evan Longoria, 3B: Longoria hit .500 (4-for-8) combined in the Rays' two play-in games this week and paced Tampa Bay with 32 home runs this season. However, Longoria is a career .196 hitter in the playoffs. In 63 career appearances against Lester, Longoria is hitting .236 with four homers and four doubles.

Delmon Young, DH: Young has hit nine home runs in just 29 postseason games, including a solo shot Wednesday night off Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar. He’s hitting just .194 against Lester for his career (36 plate appearances).

Three Red Sox players to watch

David Ortiz, DH: Ortiz is a career .283 hitter in the postseason with 12 home runs. However, he has hit just .164 in his past two postseason trips combined (2008-09). He has six hits in 13 career at bats against Moore.

Dustin Pedroia, 2B: Of his five career postseason home runs, three came in the 2008 ALCS against Tampa. He has a team-high 14 at bats against Moore, but has just two hits to show for it.

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: Boston’s speedy leadoff man, Ellsbury has gone 0 for 6 in his career against Moore. His 92.9 percent (52-of-56) stolen base success rate this season compares favorably to the Rays' 78.3 percent (86-of-119).