Tim Wakefield Faces the Orioles for Second Time in Five Days

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Losers of five straight Grapefruit League games, the Red Sox will take on the Baltimore Orioles in a matinee at City of Palms Park.

It is the second meeting between the two teams this week, the third this spring, and it precedes an incredibly busy couple of days for the Sox.

Boston will have a pair of split-squad games on both Sunday and Monday. In addition, Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to throw two innings in a minor league game Sunday and John Lackey will appear in a game at the minor league complex Monday.

WHEN AND WHERE

1:05 p.m. ET, March 20, 2010
City of Palms Park, Fort Myers, Fla.

RECORDS

Orioles (6-10)
Red Sox (8-8)

HEAD TO HEAD

The teams have split a pair of meetings, the road team winning both times. Boston took the first game in Sarasota, 5-4, back on March 7. Baltimore earned an 8-4 win in Fort Myers on Monday.

LINEUPS

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, LF
Marco Scutaro, SS

Orioles
Robert Andino, 3B
Justin Turner, 2B
Lou Montanez, LF
Garrett Atkins, 1B
Jeff Salazar, CF
Josh Bell, DH
Craig Tatum, C
Miguel Abreu, RF
Blake Davis, SS

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Chris Tillman (0-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (1-1, 5.19 ERA)

Pitching on a windy day at City of Palms Park, Wakefield was battered around a bit by the O’s on Monday. Luke Scott‘s three-run homer in the third inning was the big blow as the knuckler gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Tillman came on in relief in that one and also had a rough outing. He walked three in 2 2/3 rocky frames, giving up two runs on four hits overall.

STAT SHEET

Red Sox
Josh Reddick added two more hits Friday against Pittsburgh and is now hitting .438 (14-for-32) this spring.

David Ortiz is 7-for-10 with two home runs and four RBI in his last four games.

Mike Lowell was 2-for-4 with a homer at the minor league complex Friday.

The Sox have sold out 95 straight games at City of Palms Park, dating back to March 16, 2003.

Orioles
Scott is 7-for-19 (.368) with a team-high eight RBI.

Shortstop Cesar Izturis has just two singles in 22 at-bats.

Projected No. 2 starter Jeremy Guthrie has been reached for 11 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings, walking seven and striking out five.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox
After his minor league appearance Friday, Lowell is set to test his hips a bit more when he plays third base Sunday at home against Houston.

Matsuzaka threw 44 pitches in a bullpen session Friday. He will throw two innings at the minor league complex Sunday.

Infielder Jed Lowrie has not been seen as he recovers from mononucleosis.

Jacoby Ellsbury is expected back after a few days off with an illness.

Orioles
Second baseman Brian Roberts, who has been out all spring with back issues, is cleared to resume activities.

Closer Mike Gonzalez threw a side session Wednesday as he works through back stiffness.

Outfielder Felix Pie may return against the Red Sox. He has been day-to-day with left shoulder tendinitis.

OVERHEARD

“I think the last time I was 100 percent I was 16 years old.”
–Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett on the flu bug he had to overcome this week.

PRESS BOX

Red Sox
Lowell is progressing nicely at the plate despite dealing with new position.

Is Boof Bonser on the block?

Matsuzaka welcomes his third child.

Orioles
The update on Roberts.

Guthrie needs to get it going to avoid a repeat of 2009.

Catcher Matt Wietersworkload to increase.

MLB
Cliff Lee suffers an abdominal strain.

Rockies closer Huston Street gets encouraging news on shoulder.

Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg makes third spring start.

OUTLOOK

The Sox’ five-game slide means nothing but a handful of players would love to get going soon. And Wakefield would hate to enter late-March with two straight rough outings, especially with Clay Buchholz throwing well and Matsuzaka on the mend.

The clubs will play two more times this spring.

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