The Red Sox followed up an ordinary August with a rousing win to begin September. They will try to build some momentum on Thursday in the finale of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles.
Down early and in danger of losing their fourth straight game for the first time since before the All-Star break, the Sox rallied for a 9-6 victory Wednesday night. They remain seven games behind Tampa Bay in the race for a wild-card spot with 29 games to play.
After missing a start due to a sore lower back, Daisuke Matsuzaka is on the mound for Boston. Brad Bergesen goes for Baltimore.
WHEN AND WHERE
Red Sox (75-58) at Orioles (49-84) Wednesday, Sept. 2, 7:05 p.m. NESN Camden Yards, Baltimore
Matsuzaka has given up exactly four runs in four of his last five starts, but he lasted eight innings in his last outing, a 5-4 win over Toronto nearly two weeks ago.
The righty is 3-2 with a 5.65 ERA against Baltimore. He came off the DL early in the season to make his 2010 debut in Camden Yards, giving up seven runs — six earned — in 4 2/3 innings.
The 24-year-old Bergesen is coming into his own. He is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA over his last six starts. The former fourth-round pick is 1-2 with a 3.71 ERA in four career starts vs. Boston.
Marco Scutaro, SS J.D. Drew, RF Victor Martinez, C David Ortiz, DH Adrian Beltre, 3B Jed Lowrie, 2B Mike Lowell, 1B Daniel Nava, LF Ryan Kalish, CF
Brian Roberts, 2B Nick Markakis, RF Ty Wigginton, 1B Luke Scott, DH Felix Pie, CF Matt Wieters, C Nolan Reimold, LF Cesar Izturis, SS Josh Bell, 3B
Every Boston starter and one reserve had a single hit in Wednesday's win. Only one, Marco Scutaro, had two.
Catcher Victor Martinez is 13-for-30 (.433) during a seven-game hitting streak.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre is three RBIs shy of 1,000 for his career.
Right fielder Nick Markakis is 53-for-155 (.342) against lefties this year.
Seven of the Orioles' starters struck out at least once Wednesday night. The club whiffed 12 times overall.
Right-hander Alfredo Simon has given up five home runs in his last eight relief appearances.
BLACK AND BLUE
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had his broken left foot examined Wednesday. It showed significant healing. He will get another scan Friday, at which point the club will make the decision whether he has season-ending surgery or not.
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has another broken rib near where he was hurt earlier in the year, the result of a collision at first base in Texas on Aug. 13. He will likely miss the remainder of the season.
Center fielder Mike Cameron had season-ending surgery Friday to repair an abdominal tear.
First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) continues to try to recover from a broken right foot. He has yet to be able to run at full speed, one of the last major obstacles before he can eye a rehab stint. Varitek will also get a scan on Friday.
Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
Right-hander Jason Berken will likely miss the remainder of the season with a slightly torn right labrum and a frayed rotator cuff.
Right-hander David Hernandez is expected to return in September from a sprained left ankle.
Another massive homestand is on the horizon, with six games against Chicago and Tampa Bay. Before that begins, the Red Sox need to take care of business in Baltimore. With Matsuzaka being a bit of a wild card coming off a missed start, they hope that the bats can build off Wednesday night's breakout performance.