The Red Sox and Cardinals will open a three-game rematch of last season's World Series when Rubby De La Rosa and Lance Lynn take the mound at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.
With the Cardinals sitting one game behind first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central, Lynn will look to build on recent success. After allowing seven runs in two innings on June 28, he had quality starts in all five of his July outings, with a 1.71 ERA for the month. In his last start, Lynn took a loss despite limiting the Padres to one earned run over six innings.
De La Rosa is coming off a three-run, six-inning outing against Toronto. This will be his first career start against St. Louis. He has a 3.64 ERA, 1.288 WHIP and 2.31 K/BB ratio over nine outings this season.
On top of the October rematch, the series will be a return to Busch Stadium for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly, traded to the Red Sox on Thursday. New Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski, meanwhile, will face the team that released him a few weeks ago.
"Yeah, the timing of it is a little funky in that regard," Craig said of the early homecoming. "It's going to be fun to go in there and play against my former teammates and go back to St. Louis. I'm just going to go and play my game and just play.
"I think it's still sinking in, just being in the clubhouse and seeing a lot of faces and putting the names to faces and that type of stuff. It's cool to be on this side of the clubhouse and get to know the guys who I played against last year in the World Series."
Craig has been dealing with foot soreness and manager John Farrell described the outfielder's condition as day to day. Boston's skipper hopes to have Craig back in the lineup Tuesday.
"Still day to day," said Farrell. "Still feels the soreness of when he crossed the bag the other night. We're hopeful he's back in the lineup when we get to St. Louis."
Cardinals: Jay expected back in lineup
After being held out of the lineup for five games with a sore wrist, Jon Jay is expected to start for the series opener.
"He's better today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said on Sunday. "We could probably push it today, but we're just trying to take advantage of the off-day tomorrow to give him one more."
Peter Bourjos had been playing center field in Jay's place. Jay hasn't played since last Tuesday and is batting .289/.347/.368 this season.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Wright called up, Wilson optioned
Looking for some length in the bullpen, the Red Sox recalled knuckleballer Steven Wright for his first Major League stint of the season. He made four appearances for Boston in 2013.
Alex Wilson was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding move after he threw 2 1/3 innings Saturday.
"Needed length, we needed another fresh arm," Farrell said. "He's been throwing a lot of strikes. He's pitched out of the bullpen for us here in the past."
Wright has a 2.80 ERA and 3.73 K/BB ratio in 11 starts for Pawtucket this season. He's averaged more than 6 1/3 innings per outing, as well.
• Red Sox righty Allen Webster walked five batters in 2 2/3 innings Saturday, but he'll get another turn in the rotation, likely Friday against the Angels.
"He has a tendency to lead with his body a little bit more and it kind of spiraled in a way yesterday with him," said Farrell. "As that inning started unfolding, he started to lead more and more with his body and his arm had an inability to catch up consistently to get his release point out front."
• With 15 home runs, Jhonny Peralta is one shy of the Cardinals' single-season record for a shortstop.
• Lynn was 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA in two appearances (one start) against Boston in last year's World Series.
• Former Boston lefty Jon Lester took out an ad in Sunday's Boston Globe to thank the Red Sox and their fans for support during his time with the organization.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.