Trade or No Trade, Red Sox Have Business to Take Care of Against Tigers

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Trade or No Trade, Red Sox Have Business to Take Care of Against Tigers Just minutes after the non-waiver trade deadline ends, the Red Sox and Detroit Tigers will tangle in the second of three straight at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Sox, still rumored to be in the mix for bullpen help and potentially a bat, might need a boost of some kind after a difficult loss in the series opener. Jon Lester gave up four runs on a career-high 11 hits in six-plus innings and David Ortiz‘s grand slam in the ninth left Boston one run short.

With the setback, the Sox fell seven games behind the wild card-leading Tampa Bay Rays in the loss column.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has tossed three straight quality starts, gets the nod for Boston.

The trade deadline is 4 p.m.

WHEN AND WHERE

Tigers (52-50) at Red Sox (58-45)
Saturday, July 31, 4:10 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sox are 21-7 against the Tigers at home since 2003.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Max Scherzer (7-8, 4.45 ERA) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3, 4.09 ERA)

Matsuzaka has quietly settled in as the Sox’ most consistent pitcher of late. He has allowed just four runs in 18 2/3 innings over his last three starts. The right-hander’s ERA is at its lowest in 2010, and he has held opponents to just a .226 average this year. Matsuzaka is 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA against the Tigers, despite walking 16 men in only 30 2/3 innings.

Scherzer was knocked around by the Sox at home back on May 14, a start that prompted him to be demoted to the minors. Since returning 16 days later, the former first-round pick is 6-4 with a 2.93 ERA. He is just 1-6 with a 5.53 mark on the road this year.

LINEUPS







Red SoxTigers
Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Victor Martinez, C
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, 2B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Darnell McDonald, CF
Austin Jackson, CF
Will Rhymes, 2B
Brennan Boesch, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Don Kelly, LF
Jeff Frazier, DH
Gerald Laird, C
Ramon Santiago, SS

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Designated hitter David Ortiz has eight grand slams as a member of the Red Sox, tied for third in franchise history with three others. Ted Williams (17) and Rico Petrocelli (9) are the only two with more.
  • Shortstop Marco Scutaro is batting .333 (12-for-36) with three home runs in his last eight games.
  • Tim Wakefield on Friday became the oldest Red Sox pitcher to appear in a game at 43 years, 362 days.

Tigers

  • Detroit snapped a 10-game road losing streak Friday.
  • Third baseman Jhonny Peralta homered in his first two at-bats with the team Friday. He is the second Tiger to accomplish the feat since 1920. Billy McMillan was the first back in 2000.
  • Jose Valverde threw a career-high 48 pitches Friday.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Right fielder J.D. Drew has missed three straight starts with a left hamstring strain. He was originally in the lineup Friday but scratched about two hours before the game began. He did pinch hit in the ninth.
  • Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had a CT scan Friday which revealed significant healing in his broken left foot. He took grounders, swung aggressively in batting practice and also ramped up his running program after a few days off.
  • Catcher Jason Varitek also had a CT scan on his broken foot and was able to get rid of his crutches. He will remove his protective boot Saturday and can slowly begin to incorporate more activities. Varitek remains weeks away.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will play the first of at least two rehab games at Pawtucket on Saturday. He will be re-evaluated after Sunday’s game and could be activated early next week.
  • Mike Lowell (hip) was expected to be activated from the DL on Friday but was kept sidelined, perhaps until after the trade deadline, which could see him moved. He was 11-for-22 with four homers in just five rehab games for the PawSox.
  • Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Tigers

  • Left fielder Johnny Damon was scratched from Friday’s game with upper back spasms.
  • Second baseman Carlos Guillen is on the DL with a strained right calf.
  • Right fielder/designated hitter Magglio Ordonez is out until late August or early September with a broken right ankle.
  • Third baseman Brandon Inge will be sidelined for several more weeks with a broken left hand.
  • Lefty Bobby Seay remains on the 60-day DL with left shoulder soreness.
  • Right-hander Joel Zumaya is out for the year after suffering a broken right elbow throwing a pitch near the end of June.
  • Right-hander Zach Miner had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 28.

OUTLOOK

In an otherwise inconsistent year, Matsuzaka has had several of his best starts after losses. Now would be a great time for him to continue that trend. Detroit throws ace Justin Verlander in Sunday’s finale, so taking care of business in this one could be crucial.

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