Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/16/13
5:10 p.m.: The month of May hasn’t been too kind to the Red Sox, but it’s been very kind to Stephen Drew. Drew leads the team in average (.348), on-base percentage (.415), slugging percentage (.609) and RBIs (12) this month. Red Sox manager John Farrell is looking to ride that hot streak. Drew, who typically bats ninth, will bat seventh on Thursday, with Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia batting eighth and ninth, respectively. Daniel Nava will also return to the Boston lineup. He’ll bat sixth and play left field. The rest of Thursday’s lineups are below. Red Sox (23-17) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Shane Victorino, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Mike Napoli, 1B Daniel Nava, LF Stephen Drew, SS Will Middlebrooks, 3B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Felix Doubront, LHP (3-1, 6.40 ERA) Rays (20-19) Desmond Jennings, CF Luke Scott, DH Ben Zobrist, RF Evan Longoria, 3B Yunel Escobar, SS James Loney, 1B Sean Rodriguez, LF Jose Lobaton, C Ryan Roberts, 2B Alex Cobb (4-2, 3.09 ERA) 8 a.m. ET: Jon Lester once again played the role of stopper on Wednesday, holding the Rays to two runs over seven innings in the Red Sox’ 9-2 blowout at Tropicana Field. Lester, who tossed a one-hit shutout in his last start before Wednesday’s, was very solid, but it was Boston’s offense that came alive in the victory. The Red Sox suddenly showed an ability to hit with runners on, and an eight-run inning capped off by Stephen Drew’s grand slam provided all the offense Boston needed. Now, the Red Sox will try to ride the momentum of Wednesday’s big win. Sure, the performance was impressive, but the Sox had lost three in a row before Wednesday, and they’ve still lost nine of their last 12 games overall. Felix Doubront will attempt to give the Red Sox their first back-to-back wins since May 1 and May 2. It won’t be easy for Doubront, who is making his first start since May 3. The left-hander has seen a drop in velocity recently, and his overall effectiveness has suffered as a result. He’ll need to turn things around on Thursday, as Rays starter Alex Cobb (4-2, 3.09 ERA) has been pitching well for Tampa. Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. All of the action can be found on NESN and right here at NESN.com.
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