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Red Sox vs. Rays: One last Webster start

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Endure, Red Sox fans, for this year is almost at an end.

Mitchell Layton

The Red Sox will finish up their penultimate series of the 2014 season Thursday night as they send Allen Webster to the mound for one last start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS BOSTON RED SOX
Ben Zobrist - SS Mookie Betts - 2B
David DeJesus - DH Xander Bogaerts - SS
Evan Longoria - 3B Daniel Nava - RF
James Loney - 1B Yoenis Cespedes - DH
Wil Myers - RF Allen Craig - 1B
Nick Franklin - 2B Garin Cecchini - 3B
Matt Joyce - LF Rusney Castillo - CF
Ryan Hanigan - C Bryce Brentz - LF
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Christian Vazquez - C
Jeremy Hellickson - RHP Allen Webster - RHP

A late-season game between these two teams feels like it should mean so much more, but here we are with the series win promising nothing more than what pride the two sides might be able to take out of it. That and, well, a hit to draft position. The Red Sox have wrapped up a protected pick at this point, but are just one game away from a top-5 pick if they can jump fall past the Twins and Astros.

With Allen Webster on the mound, getting that one loss should not prove a problem except...well, he's put together another two or three decent games! And while every single time I swear I won't get pulled back in, here we are heading into the last start of a season that has seen Webster produce a 5.54 ERA while striking out only four more batters than he's walked, and still that spark of hope refuses to be completely snuffed out.

But one game against the Rays could certainly change that. So far he's thrown 9.1 innings of eight-run ball against them this year, walking eight and striking out seven. So there's that.

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.