The Red Sox will host the Oakland Athletics in a split doubleheader on Saturday at Fenway Park in order to avoid issues with Hurricane Irene.
The first game will be played at noon. The second game will start at 5 p.m. There is rain in the forecast Saturday night. Fans with tickets for the originally scheduled 1:10 p.m. start can use them for the first game. Those with tickets for the originally scheduled Sunday game can use them for game two.
Gates for the first game will open at Fenway Park at 10:30 a.m. Fans coming to the second game can get through the gates 45 minutes after the conclusion of the opener. NESN will televise both games of the doubleheader live.
"With a forecast that calls for potentially heavy rains and high winds on Sunday, we felt it was necessary and prudent to move the Sunday game to Saturday, also," said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "This will not only give us the best opportunity to play the scheduled games, but also help to insure that traveling conditions are safer for our fans. We apologize for the inconvenience these changes will cause our fans this weekend, both those coming to the ballpark and those tuning in to the game on radio or television. On behalf of John, Tom and our entire front office, I also want to express gratitude for the flexibility that our players and our fans have shown this season as, together, we've dealt with an extraordinary number of weather-related scheduling issues."
Daniel Bard, the team's player representative, said the players voted in favor of this plan after the organization wanted to have two games Friday. One reason for voting down the Friday plan is the quick turnaround after an overnight flight from Texas, something that did not appeal to a road-weary bunch.
The teams will play the originally scheduled game Friday night at 7:10 p.m. and then hope that the wet stuff stays away long enough Saturday to get two games in. And if all of the games are completed, it would mean that the Red Sox played 14 games in 12 days, bookended by doubleheaders.
Sunday would be spent indoors as Irene plows through. Monday is a day off before the Yankees arrive for a three-game series Tuesday.
The Red Sox will stay in order with their rotation. Tim Wakefield pitches Friday night, followed by Jon Lester in the opener of the doubleheader and Erik Bedard in the 5 p.m. affair.