Tuesday June 14, 2011 | 09:24 AM

While the Red Sox rested, both the Yankees and Rays lost 1-run games on Monday.

The AL East leaders:

Boston 39-26
New York 36-28 (2.5 behind)
Tampa Bay 35-31 (4.5)

Boston begins a 3-game series tonight in St. Petersburg. While the Sox are hot, the Rays always seem to give Boston a difficult time (Tampa Bay won last year's series, 11-7). And the Rays are lined up with their best pitchers.

The match-ups: 

Tim Wakefield (3-1) vs. James Shields (5-4)
Josh Beckett (5-2) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (7-4)
Clay Buchholz (5-3) vs. David Price (7-5)

In Pawtucket, catcher Ryan Lavarnway made his Triple-A debut, going 2-for-4 with 2 doubles ... former Sea Dogs outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin went on the Pawtucket DL with a left wrist sprain.

Kyle Weiland got the start for Pawtucket. He looked fine through 5 innings (3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K), but got only one out in the sixth, allowing 3 more hits, a walk, and 3 runs.

Salem starter Anthony Ranaudo pitched 5 2/3 innings: 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.

And Greenville's Keith Couch made only his third start. Couch, 21, was a 13th-round draft pick last year out of Adelphi University. He gave up 6 runs in his first start, and 3 runs in his next.

The third start was the charm: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.



About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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