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 A's Season Win Total Prediction How many games will the Oakland A's win this upcoming MLB season?
Thumbnail Padres Win Total Prediction How many games will the San Diego Padres win in the 2017 MLB regular season?
Thumbnail Cards lose Reyes, WS Odds Unchanged Earlier this week the Cardinals lost phenom Alex Reyes to season-ending Tommy John surgery but their World Series odds remain unaffected.
Thumbnail MLB Home Run Champion Odds Which player will hit the most regular season home runs in Major League Baseball in 2017? Let's take a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Middle infielder fills big hole as camp opens After using his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to the Braves in November, Brandon Phillips has clearly warmed to the idea of...

MLB Team Pages