Wednesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays was postponed because of rain and rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader Thursday.
The first game will start at 1:05 p.m., with the regularly scheduled game still at 7:10 p.m. Both games will be on NESN.
Tickets for Wednesday’s game will be good for the first game of the doubleheader.
The Rays have two more series in Boston — May 30-June 1 and Sept. 23-25 — but the Red Sox preferred to make the game up immediately, according to manager John Farrell.
Playing a doubleheader on Saturday, May 31, or Sunday, June 1, would have put the Red Sox in the position of playing 37 games in as many days.
“Logistically they’re here and we’ve got the ability to play two [Thursday] based on the forecast,” Farrell said. “That’s where we’re at.”
The teams have a mutual day off Sept. 22 but the Red Sox passed on that idea.
Ben Zobrist, the acting player representative of the Rays, said Tampa Bay did not want a doubleheader Thursday. But the Red Sox had all the necessary approvals.
The Sox will change their pitching plans slightly. Righthander Jake Peavy will start the first game, with lefthander Felix Doubront, Wednesday’s scheduled starter, going in the nightcap.
Peavy (1-0, 2.87) offers a better chance of going deeper in the game than Doubront (1-3, 6.00).
“Not to say there’s always a guarantee, but that’s what you go by,” Farrell said. “Knowing you have a guy who can keep a bullpen from getting overexposed early and look to have guys fresh for Game 2.”
The Rays will start lefthander Cesar Ramos (1-1, 3.38) and righthander Chris Archer (2-1, 4.11).
The Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads that were to be given away on Wednesday will be handed out Thursday afternoon.
A little help here
The Red Sox and Rays can add an extra player for the doubleheader, but only for the second game.
The extra player wasn’t available for doubleheaders scheduled a day in advance last season because the visiting team often faced logistical challenges calling up a player from the minors.
But the rule was amended this season to allow for an addition to the roster for the second game.
Farrell indicated the Sox would add a pitcher.
Will finds a way
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is 4 of 14 with three extra-base hits and four RBIs in four games since coming off the disabled list. Missing 20 days with a strained right calf didn’t affect his swing.
“It feels good to be able to contribute again,” he said. “My approach, being more patient at the plate, I didn’t forget about that. I just want to help us win.”
Middlebrooks said his first focus was to play well defensively. The production offensively was a bonus.
“He’s seeing the ball more consistently, and this went back to what we saw in spring training,” Farrell said. “It’s allowed him to remain confident [and] relaxed in the box, and those two things combined have minimized the number of times he’s expanded the strike zone. It’s good plate coverage.”
The result has Middlebrooks showing a more consistent approach rather than pressing to make up for previous at-bats, something that got him in a hole last season.
Having Middlebrooks back in the lower third of the order has helped the Red Sox score 23 runs and hit .294 as a team the last four games.
“That’s probably as big a contributor as anything in the final days of this month,” said Farrell. “Any time we can lengthen out our lineup, that’s always going to be a positive.”
Middlebrooks believes the 13-14 Red Sox are in a good position.
“We’re healthy again and the division has been up and down,” he said. “No one team has pulled that far ahead because of all the injuries. We had a rough month but it was only one month.”
Pedro Martinez, Johnny Damon, and Jason Varitek are among those scheduled to attend a pregame ceremony May 28 to recognize the 10-year anniversary of the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox. Keith Foulke, Derek Lowe, Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar, Mike Timlin, and Tim Wakefield also will be on hand before the Braves-Red Sox game that night. The reunion also will include Abe Alvarez, Ellis Burks, Orlando Cabrera, Cesar Crespo, Lenny DiNardo, Adam Hyzdu, Ron Jackson, Lynn Jones, Gabe Kapler, Curtis Leskanic, Dave McCarty, Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Myers, Pokey Reese, Phil Seibel, Jason Sheill, and Scott Williamson.
Lefthander Craig Breslow will host the second Sip Happens food tasting and wine pairing May 19 at the Boston Children’s Museum. Proceeds will benefit the Strike 3 Foundation, which heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for pediatric cancer research and treatment. The evening starts with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m., with general admission at 7 p.m. Author Ben Mezrich will speak at the event. For individual ticket purchases, visit www.siphappens2014.org . . . The Norman Rockwell painting “The Rookie” will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts through Friday. The work, which is headed to auction later this month, depicts the Red Sox clubhouse in 1957.