Boston Red Sox (46-34) @ Houston Astros (29-53)
Tim Wakefield (4-3, 4.54) @ Bud Norris (4-6, 3.36)
8:05 PM EDT | Minute Maid Park (Houston, TX)


Boston: Clay Buchholz, lower back strain (Placed on the 15-day DL on June 19, retroactive to June 17); Carl Crawford, strained left hamstring (Placed on the 15-day DL June 18); Jed Lowrie, right shoulder injury (Placed on the 15-day DL on June 17); Kevin Youkilis, sore left ankle (day-to-day)

Houston: Jason Bourgeois, strained right quad (Placed on the 15-day DL June 29);  Humberto Quintero, high ankle sprain (Placed on the 15-day DL May 28)


The Astros come into this series with the worst record in MLB.   The biggest problem? Pitching.  The Houston pitching staff is ranked at or near the bottom of the National League in all major pitching categories:  15th in ERA (4.66), 15th in hits (746), 16th in runs (411), and 15th in HRs (99).  Their offense isn’t good, but not nearly as horrendous.  The are 5th in National League in BA (.260) but 10th in OBP (.315).  They have only drawn 210 walks on the year, 15th in the NL.  Team OPS in .697, 9th in the NL.  Hunter Pence is having a great year hitting, .314/.356/.842 with 9 home runs and 53 RBIs; all but four of his at-bats have come batting third in the order.

Tim Wakefield is again a story to watch tonight as he goes for win number 198 of his career.  Wakefield has pitched in 40 major league parks but never at Minute Maid Park and has made only one career appearance against the Astros.  it has been nearly 18 years since that game on July 7, 1993 in the Astrodome.  Wakefield started that day going 3 2/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits.


Red Sox

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. J.D. Drew, RF
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Josh Reddick, LF
  8. Marco Scutaro, SS
  9. Tim Wakefield, P 


  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Angel Sanchez, 2B
  3. Hunter Pence, RF
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Chris Johnson, 3B
  6. Brett Wallace, 1B
  7. Clint Barmes, SS
  8. Carlos Corporan, C
  9. Bud Norris, P


Happy Canada Day! Instead of saluting one player today, I will honor all 22 Canadian players to have played for the Red Sox:  Jason Bay, Ted Bowsfield, Reggie Cleveland, Buck Congalton, Rheal Cormier, Eric Gagne, Mike Gardiner, Peter Hoy, Ferguson Jenkins, Oscar Juss, Win Kellum, George Kottaras, Ty LaForest, Phil Marchildon, Art McGovern, Larry McLean, Billl O’Neil, Frank O’Rourke, Frank Owens, Paul Quantrill, Matt Satris and Adam Stern.  Ferguson Jenkins is probably the best player on the list. He played for the Sox in 1976 and 1977, but is best known for his time with the Cubs.  He amassed 284 career wins and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.  My personal favorite is easily Jason Bay.