Boston improved to 11-4 against National League teams this year with a come-from-behind 13-11 victory in Colorado on Thursday. Dustin Pedroia set career highs with three home runs and five RBIs, including a two-run blast in the 10th that proved to be the game-winner.
The Sox have not visited San Francisco since 2004, when the Giants took two of three.
Tim Wakefield starts opposite Jonathan Sanchez in a contrast of styles, a crafty right-handed knuckleballer against a hard-throwing lefty.
Boston hopes to have Kevin Youkilis back in the starting lineup. He has been bothered by a sore elbow suffered when he was hit by a pitch during the team's recent homestand, but was able to come off the bench Thursday.
WHEN AND WHERE
HEAD TO HEAD
The Sox have won four of the six meetings.
RHP Tim Wakefield (2-5, 5.33 ERA) vs. LHP Jonathan Sanchez (5-5, 2.90 ERA)
Wakefield will be taking his third stab at career win No. 192. He pitched well enough to get it in his previous start, allowing just three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings, but got a no-decision against Los Angeles six days ago.
The 43-year-old has a 3.43 ERA over his last three starts and is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in his last two away from home.
Wakefield is 2-3 with a 6.03 ERA in six career starts against the Giants.
So much was made before the Sox' six-game road trip of the challenges they would face against Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum.
However, Sanchez is no slouch. His 2.90 ERA is second on the club and his opponents' batting average of .205 is fifth in the National League.
One thing opponents can always hope for is for Sanchez to be wild. He was in his previous outing, walking five in just 2 2/3 innings at Toronto.
Sanchez is 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA at home.
|Marco Scutaro, SS
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, RF
Darnell McDonald, CF
Tim Wakefield, P
|Andres Torres, RF
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Aubrey Huff, LF
Juan Uribe, SS
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Buster Posey, 1B
Aaron Rowand, CF
Eli Whiteside, C
Jonathan Sanchez, P
- Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is 26-for-52 (.500) since June 10.
- The Sox' bullpen gave up nine runs in five innings Thursday.
- Outfielder Mike Cameron has three RBIs in three games after recording just two in his first 24.
- Former Tampa Bay Ray Pat Burrell is hitting .314 with four homers in 17 games with San Francisco. He hit just .202 with Tampa Bay before being released.
- Closer Brian Wilson has 20 saves in 22 chances and 42 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.
- First baseman Aubrey Huff is batting .331 (55-for-166) since the end of April.
BLACK AND BLUE
- Outfielder J.D. Drew expects to return to the starting lineup Saturday as he deals with a strained right hamstring. Drew pinch hit Thursday, his only action in a week.
- Outfielder Josh Reddick left after the fourth inning Thursday after banging his knees into the wall in foul territory attempting to catch a pop down the line in right.
- Outfielder Jeremy Hermida was placed on the DL on June 11 after an MRI revealed five fractured ribs, the result of a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre one week earlier. He is expected to begin outfield drills soon but has not started to swing yet.
- An MRI conducted June 9 revealed a new fracture in outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury's ribs. Ellsbury, who was placed on the DL May 28 for the second time this year, went to the Athletes' Performance center in Arizona last week for at least two weeks of rest and recovery. He will be re-evaluated this weekend.
- Josh Beckett threw 55 pitches in his second bullpen session Wednesday and will toss a simulated game Saturday as he works his way back from a lower back strain.
- Infielder Jed Lowrie remains on the DL after coming down with mononucleosis during spring training. He is playing in extended spring training games.
- Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
- Right-hander Todd Wellemeyer is on the DL with a strained right quadriceps.
- Infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who has surgery on his left foot in March, is on a rehab assignment and hopes to return in July.
- Left fielder Mark DeRosa will miss the rest of the season with surgery on his left wrist.
Although it may sound elementary, the Sox could use a long outing from Wakefield in this one. They needed to use six relievers Thursday, including closer Jonathan Papelbon for two innings and 32 pitches.
Papelbon will likely not be available, so Daniel Bard will be the likely candidate for any save opportunities.