Red Sox-Giants Preview
The Boston Red Sox are percentage points out of first place in
the AL East.
It wouldn’t take much to drop the San Francisco Giants back into
the NL West cellar.
Will Middlebrooks looks to continue his hot hitting and help the
Red Sox regain sole possession of the division lead in the finale
of this three-game series with the Giants on Wednesday.
Boston (74-54) is in a virtual tie with Tampa Bay atop the
division, but is percentage points behind having played four more
The Red Sox can regain first place with a win Wednesday
afternoon, but it may just be temporary since the Rays are facing
Baltimore hours later.
Boston has failed to build a cushion in the East, losing eight
of 12. Brayan Villarreal walked Marco Scutaro on four pitches with
the bases loaded in the ninth inning Tuesday in his team debut as
the Red Sox lost 3-2.
”We shouldn’t be in that situation,” catcher David Ross said.
”We had a guy that we know who is notorious for taking pitches, we
have to throw strike one.”
Middlebrooks had two of his team’s seven hits in the defeat and
is batting .452 (14 for 31) in 10 games since being recalled from
That’s a welcome change after he batted .192 over his first 53
games, earning him a return to the minors in June.
Middlebrooks is a .373 hitter with four homers and 14 RBIs in 18
career interleague games.
Felix Doubront (8-6, 3.95 ERA) will try to help Boston avoid a
third straight road series loss as he tries to bounce back from a
The left-hander was roughed up for a season-worst seven runs and
eight hits – two homers – in four innings of a 10-3 loss to the
Yankees on Friday. That came six days after he gave up three runs
with four walks in four-plus innings of a 5-3 win at Kansas
“I feel like I was a little bit off with my mechanics, the
release point of the ball,” Doubront told the team’s official
website Friday. “My past outing was the same. I have to keep
working on that.”
Doubront, facing the Giants for the first time, has won his last
three interleague starts behind a 2.70 ERA.
San Francisco has won four of six to move one-half game ahead of
last-place San Diego in the NL West.
Barry Zito (4-8, 5.34) is scheduled to take the mound with Chad
Gaudin going on the disabled list after being diagnosed with Carpal
Zito went 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA over his last four starts before
being moved to the bullpen following a 7-3 loss at Philadelphia on
He struggled in his first two relief outings, giving up five
runs in two innings. However, the left-hander rebounded by yielding
one run in three innings over his next two appearances, and that’s
good enough for manager Bruce Bochy.
“He went to the ‘pen and I think he earned this,” Bochy told the
team’s official website. “He’s a guy who’s done a lot for us, if
you look at last year. I now it’s been an up-and-down year for him,
but his stuff, coming out of the ‘pen, I think has gotten
Zito will face the Red Sox for the first time since a loss in
Boston on June 15, 2007.
David Ortiz is 10 for 25 with two homers and three doubles
against Zito, while Dustin Pedroia is 4 for 6 with a home run.