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BOSTON (CBS) – Tim Wakefield will try once again for his 200th career win, as the Boston Red Sox look to stop a five-game skid.
The Red Sox return home for the final time in 2011, kicking off a nine-game homestand with a two-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
For Wakefield, it is his eighth try at the milestone.
“He’s pitched great for us,” said Wakefield’s catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchi. “We just aren’t able to put the runs up, or we get the lead and just can’t hold it down. It’s unfortunate, especially the rough times we’ve been going through.”
Wakefield left with the lead in his last try in Toronto, but Daniel Bard blew his fourth save of the season. The Red Sox have squandered three leads in Wakefield’s seven previous attempts at win #200.
“His knuckleball is such a feel pitch for him,” Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young said of Wake. “He is a nice routine guy; he had a good side (Sunday). He’s feeling good, feeling confident. He’s ready to take his turn and try to win a game for us.”
While Wakefield has said he is not worried about getting his win, the rest of the team is just worried about getting a win. Boston has dropped nine of 11 games to start the month of September, losing their AL East lead, and now lead the Wild Card by just three games.
“Everybody is concerned about it,” said Red Sox DH David Ortiz. “Everybody knows we have to come back and bring our A-game again. No one is happy with the way things are going.”
“I think we have to continue to go out there and grind,” said Saltalamacchia. “We have to play every inning, every out, every pitch. We have to go out there and keep going. It’s a long season, it’s getting toward the end and these games mean something. We have to go out there and take advantage of the opportunity.”
“I think the intensity and the effort is right there. Everything is just kind of going in a different direction at once,” said Ortiz. “The good thing is we know how to put it together and get it back, all at once. “
There is some good news for the Red Sox, as third baseman Kevin Youkilis returns to the lineup Tuesday after missing the weekend series in Tampa to have his ailing hip checked out.
Here is the Red Sox Lineup For Tuesday’s Series Opener:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Marco Scutaro, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
The Red Sox also called up five minor leaguers to their Major League roster. First baseman Lars Anderson , outfielder Joey Gathright, shortstop Jose Iglesias, RHP Junichi Tazawa and LHP Trever Miller have been added to the roster.
Right fielder JD Drew has been transferred to the 60-day DL with a broken finger.