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W2W4: ALDS Game 2 -- Red Sox vs. Rays

10/5/2013

• When and where: Fenway Park, Saturday at 5:37 p.m. ET

• Starting pitchers: David Price (10-8, 3.33 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)

Price • Scouting report on Price: Price's career postseason line against Boston looks like the results of a dominant start: no hits, no runs, few walks and more strikeouts than innings pitched. Except there's one problem: The 2012 Cy Young Award winner has never made a postseason start against the Red Sox.

Used exclusively as a reliever in the 2008 postseason, his first season in the majors, Price made a name for himself by shutting the Red Sox down in the American League Championship Series. He made three appearances, including a Game 7 save to send the Rays to their first World Series.

However, Price knows he'll need to pitch his best to quiet a Red Sox offense that scored 12 runs Friday.

"You know what they're capable of doing," Price said. "If you come with your B-game, B-plus-game, you have a pretty good chance to lose."

In 20 career regular-season starts against the Red Sox, Price has a 10-6 record (2-2 this season) with a 2.93 ERA. The 28-year-old threw 118 pitches in Monday's complete-game victory against the Texas Rangers to clinch the second wild card.

Lackey • Scouting report on Lackey: In his eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, John Lackey made 12 postseason starts (14 appearances), going 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA. Saturday will mark Lackey's first postseason appearance in his fourth season with the Red Sox.

"I'm excited about it, it's been a few years since I've been in the postseason," Lackey said. "This time of the year is what we're all here for."

Known as a ferocious competitor, Lackey battled back this season from the Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss all of 2012. The 34-year-old put together his best year since 2007 and earned the second spot in Boston's postseason rotation.

"When people look at John Lackey, the way he's performed this year, you can't not acknowledge the work that he put in in the offseason," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He's been, probably, one of our top two starters in terms of consistency, start to finish."

Lackey's numbers at home this season (6-3, 2.47 ERA) have been much better compared to his numbers on the road (4-10, 4.48). In two previous playoff starts at Fenway with the Angels (Game 1 of the 2007 ALDS, Game 4 of the 2008 ALDS) Lackey went a combined 13 innings, allowing six runs on 13 hits.

Three Rays players to watch

Zobrist Ben Zobrist, 2B: Zobrist has hit Lackey well in his career, going 11-for-27 and walking five times. His .515 on-base percentage against Lackey is the second highest among batters with 30 or more plate appearances against the veteran righty.

Yunel Escobar, SS: Tampa's other middle infielder has also done damage against Lackey, getting eight hits in just 15 at-bats. This year marks the 30-year-old's first taste of postseason baseball (1-for-7 in two games so far).

David DeJesus, LF: Facing a right-hander in Cleveland on Wednesday, DeJesus hit leadoff for Tampa, but he didn't start Friday against left-hander Jon Lester. With 27 plate appearances (six hits) against Lackey in his career, DeJesus could be counted upon to spark a Rays offense that was held to four hits in their Game 1 loss.

Three Red Sox players to watch

Napoli Mike Napoli, 1B: Napoli has had marginal success in his career against Price with seven hits in 27 at-bats, but he has struck out 15 times against the left-hander, his highest total versus any pitcher he has faced.

Stephen Drew, SS: Saturday may serve as an optimal chance for Farrell to let Xander Bogaerts play as Drew has gone hitless with five strikeouts in 10 career at-bats against Price, all of which came this season. Meanwhile, Bogaerts has never faced Price.

Jonny Gomes, LF: The heart and soul of the Red Sox clubhouse this season, Gomes got things going in Game 1 with a two-run double in the fourth that tied the score at 2-2. Two batters later, Gomes roared around to score from second base on Drew's infield single. Even though Gomes has hit only .200 (4-for-20) off Price in his career, his intensity can be game-changing in the postseason.

Three key considerations

Expect Red Sox catcher David Ross to crack the lineup for Game 2 as Farrell said Thursday he expects to get Ross involved early in the series. Ross has two hits off Price in five at-bats, both hits being solo home runs.

Despite his success this season, Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava may need to wait until Game 3 to make his first postseason start. With another lefty on the mound Saturday, Gomes should draw the start in left.

Rays reliever Jamey Wright threw 30 pitches in his one inning of work Friday, making him an unlikely candidate for manager Joe Maddon to use in Game 2.