BOSTON (AP) -The Tampa Bay Rays feel like the only thing that can postpone left-hander Scott Kazmir's first start of the season is the weather on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
The 24-year-old Kazmir, last's season's AL strikeout leader and the ace of a young Rays' staff, is slated to face the Red Sox in the series finale. He strained his left elbow warming up for an intrasquad game on Feb. 26.
``The weather calls for 100 percent chance of rain,'' manager Joe Maddon said before Saturday night's game against the Red Sox. ``I'm not really concerned. I know everybody always gets worried about the weather. Once he gets heated up he'll be fine.
``I'm not holding other people back,'' he continued. ``If there was a rain delay (during the game), you might be concerned. He's ready to go.''
Kazmir's fastball topped out at 94 miles per hour in his final rehab start Monday in Durham, N.C. Now, he feels ready to go, with a pitch limit.
``We talked about it and we are right now at the 100-pitch count,'' he said. ``Hopefully I'll be right and get deep into the game.''
Boston's batters may hope for rain. Kazmir fanned 49 Red Sox' hitters last year. In the past 50 years, only three pitchers had more strikeouts against Boston in a single season.
``I think I'll be all right,'' he said. ``But like I've said before, with Fenway you are definitely going to have the adrenaline flowing.''
Last season he was 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Bumgarner looks to get Giants back on track The Giants have dropped seven of their past eight contests against San Diego. With Madison Bumgarner on the bump tonight, will the visitors’ fortunes...
Thumbnail Blue Jays send Stroman to take down Yanks Marcus Stroman has experienced a largely frustrating second full season in the majors. Yet the Toronto righty can push all of the noise aside with a strong...
Thumbnail Boston aims to keep clobbering Tampa Bay David Ortiz and the Red Sox are in the midst of their longest winning streak in more than five years. Does Tampa Bay have any chance to slow that momentum in...
Thumbnail Cards hope Reyes rides to rescue vs. Cubs Yesterday, the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta dominated the Cardinals over the course of seven innings. It would surprise no one if Jason Hammel were to be equally...
Thumbnail Giants overcoming hurdles vs. Padres   With a pair of key players sidelined, the Giants weren’t exactly jubilant yesterday. Yet they banded together and eked out a...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages