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Wednesday, July 24, 2013
5 stats to know: Rays at Red Sox

By Will Cohen, ESPN Stats & Info


USA TODAY Sports, AP PhotoFelix Dubront (left) and David Price (right) will take the mound for their respective teams on Wednesday Night Baseball. The teams have split the first 2 games of the 4-game series
The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox play the third game of a four-game series tonight at Fenway Park at 7 ET on ESPN/WatchESPN.

Here are five stats our broadcast crew will likely be talking about during Wednesday night’s game.

1. Since returning from the disbaled list on July 2, David Price has a 3-1 record and a 1.97 ERA. During that stretch, he’s walked one batter in 32 innings.

One of the biggest changes for Price since returning from the disabled list has been his increased usage of his changeup.

In April and May, he threw the pitch only 13% of the time. In his last four starts, he’s throwing it 21% of the time.

Price is 8-5 in 17 career starts against the Red Sox, with a 3.27 ERA. However, he’s been much better at Fenway, going 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA in eight starts.

His ERA is the lowest of any active visiting pitcher at Fenway with at least five starts.

2. Dustin Pedroia has reportedly agreed to a seven-year extension worth about $100 million that would keep him in a Red Sox uniform until 2021. The team plans to make a formal announcement within days.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, if Pedroia plays out this new contract with Boston, he would have spent 16 seasons with the team, something only five players have done: Carl Yastrzemski (23 seasons), Ted Williams (19), Dwight Evans (19), Tim Wakefield (17) and Jim Rice (16).

Pedroia’s contract would be the fourth contract worth at least $100 million handed out by the team in its history.

None of the previous three completed the contact in a Boston uniform, although Manny Ramirez almost got there.

3. Despite losing Tuesday night, the Rays are still one of the hottest teams in baseball, having won 21 of their last 26 games. This streak has moved them within 1½ games of the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.

However, Tampa Bay has struggled against Boston this year, going 4-10 (20-15 against the rest of the AL East). The Rays have lost the season series to the Red Sox for the first time since 2007.

4. David Ortiz is one home run shy of reaching 20 for the 11th time in a Red Sox uniform. That would match Dwight Evans and Jim Rice for the second-most such seasons in club history, behind only Ted Williams (16 years).

5. Felix Doubront is enjoying a solid run for Boston, as he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 8, compiling a 2.59 ERA in those 12 starts.

Doubront is the first Red Sox pitcher to go 12 straight starts while allowing three or fewer earned runs since Pedro Martinez went 16 straight ending in April 2003.

Quick Hitters
• Tampa Bay will play 38 road games after the All Star break, the most in the majors. The good news is the Rays have the best road record in baseball since 2010 (.550 win percentage).

• The Red Sox and Atlanta Braves are the only teams that have remained above .500 for the entire season. It’s the latest Boston has stayed above .500 since 1946, when they stayed above that mark the entire season.