Behind 6 2/3 outstanding innings by Matsuzaka, the Sox opened their 10-game West Coast road trip with a 2-1 win Monday. Adrian Beltre had a solo homer as Boston won for just the fourth time in 12 games.
Wakefield may need to be on his game — Boston's struggling offense has been held to five runs or fewer in 11 out of 12 games, including seven straight.
Oakland, which had a five-game winning streak snapped Monday, gives the ball to Dallas Braden.
WHEN AND WHERE
Red Sox (53-40) at Athletics (46-47)
Tuesday, July 20, 10:07 p.m.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Sox are 9-15 in Oakland over the last six seasons.
RHP Tim Wakefield (3-8, 5.65 ERA) vs. LHP Dallas Braden (4-7, 3.83 ERA)
In what could be his last start for some time, Wakefield will try to improve on a pair of rocky outings surrounding the All-Star break. He has given up 12 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings in the rough stretch, all but cementing his spot in the bullpen when both Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett return healthy.
Buchholz will pitch Wednesday and Beckett is expected to be activated to start Friday in Seattle.
Braden, who had the memorable perfect game back on Mother's Day, is returning from a stint on the DL with elbow issues. The 26-year-old is 0-5 with a 4.31 ERA in eight starts since he made history.
|1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Darnell McDonald, LF
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Mike Cameron, CF
8. Bill Hall, 2B
9. Kevin Cash, C
|1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. Kurt Suzuki, C
4. Jack Cust, DH
5. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
6. Mark Ellis, 2B
7. Gabe Gross, RF
8. Rajai Davis, LF
9. Cliff Pennington, SS
- Five of Eric Patterson's eight hits as a member of the Red Sox have gone for extra bases, including two home runs and two triples.
- Third baseman Adrian Beltre has three home runs in his last seven games.
- Closer Jonathan Papelbon has allowed just one hit in 7 1/3 scoreless innings since his back-to-back rough outings in Colorado last month.
- Outfielder Rajai Davis has homered twice in six games. He had just one home run in his previous 70 games.
- The first six batters in Oakland's lineup Monday night were a combined 0-for-21.
- Right-hander Ben Sheets has lasted at least six innings in 14 straight starts.
BLACK AND BLUE
- Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had a CT scan Friday that showed his broken left foot healing well. He was able to get rid of his crutches and put weight on the foot but has to keep a boot on it for up to two more weeks.
- Right-hander Josh Beckett (back) will throw an extended side session Tuesday. If all goes well he will return to the rotation and start Friday in Seattle.
- Right-hander Clay Buchholz (hamstring) is penciled into Wednesday's start after throwing 3 2/3 innings in a rehab start Friday.
- Catcher Jason Varitek also had a CT scan on his broken left foot Friday. He is a couple of weeks behind Pedroia in terms of his recovery and remains on crutches.
- Catcher Victor Martinez played catch Sunday for the first time since breaking his left thumb last month, but still felt pain. He has only been able to bat from the left side so far. There is no timetable for his return.
- Outfielder Jeremy Hermida (broken rib) went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts while serving as the designated hitter for Pawtucket on Monday. He is expected to play the outfield Tuesday and rejoin the team in Seattle on Thursday.
- Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is in Florida continuing to rehab from a broken rib with the club's Gulf Coast League affiliate.
- Mike Lowell got a cortisone shot in his right hip Monday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Pawtucket on Thursday.
- Infielder Jed Lowrie is 5-for-15 with a home run and four RBIs in four games at Pawtucket. He is continuing to rehab from a prolonged bout of mononucleosis.
- Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
- Outfielder Conor Jackson is on the DL with a strained right hamstring.
- Outfielder Ryan Sweeney was placed on the DL on Monday with issues in both knees.
- Lefty Brett Anderson may return to the rotation at the end of the week. He has been on the DL with left elbow tendinitis.
- Outfielder Travis Buck is on the DL with a strained right oblique.
- Right-hander Joey Devine and left-hander Josh Outman are both working their way back from Tommy John surgery.
- Righty Justin Duchscherer is out for the season following hip surgery.
- DH Eric Chavez is on the 60-day DL with bulging neck disks. He may return in September.
Although the decision may already be made, Wakefield ought to pitch as if his job as a starter depends on it. With the way the Sox' offense has been of late, it may be his only option.