Rays try to draw closer to Red Sox at the Trop

The Boston Red Sox have struggled lately and try to get game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Boston has lost two straight and six of eight games, including Thursday's 7-4 setback in the finale of a four-game set at Toronto. Andrew Miller was dealt the loss for allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings of work.

"Other than that big inning, I felt pretty good," said Miller. "That one inning just really blew up."

Jason Varitek homered and Marco Scutaro finished with three hits and two RBI for the Red Sox, who are 6 1/2 games ahead of the Rays in the AL Wild Card standings and 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for AL East supremacy.

John Lackey draws the start for the Red Sox tonight and has lost two straight and three of four trips to the hill. Lackey was roughed up for six runs and eight hits in five innings of an 11-4 loss versus Texas on Sunday, falling to 12-11 with a 6.11 ERA in 24 starts.

Lackey, a right-hander, lost to the Rays on Aug. 17, but is 12-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 18 career starts against them.

The Rays have won four of five games and recently took two of three meetings from Texas, including Wednesday's 5-4 win in 10 innings on Desmond Jennings' leadoff home run off of Mark Lowe.

Tampa Bay starter David Price failed to pitch at least seven innings for the first time in six starts and did not earn a decision for the first time in the same span. He allowed eight hits and two walks, fanning five, in six frames.

"David wasn't on top of everything," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, "but nevertheless he got us the lead."

Jake McGee worked around Mike Napoli's leadoff single in the top of the 10th to earn the victory.

It was the 1,000th win in Rays franchise history.

Wade Davis gets the nod for the Rays tonight and he's 9-8 with a 4.50 ERA in 25 starts this season. He defeated Baltimore his last time out in a 6-3 victory on Saturday, as he held the Orioles to three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Davis, a right-hander, is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA in three career starts against Boston and 4-4 in 13 trips to the Tropicana Field mound this season.

Tampa Bay has won six of 11 meetings with Boston this season.