Wakefield returning to Red Sox
Boston (75-55) at New York (70-60), Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
TORONTO -- When the Red Sox open their three-game set at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, they will welcome the return of veteran starter Tim Wakefield.
Boston is set to activate the right-handed knuckleballer from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, as he will take the mound in his first start since Aug. 6. Wakefield has been sidelined since then with tightness behind his right shoulder.
Wakefield threw in a bullpen session over the weekend and was pronounced ready for a return to action. He will be taking the place of right-hander Josh Beckett, who was originally slated to pitch on Tuesday, but had his start pushed back because of numbness in his right arm.
Wakefield's mound opponent in the series opener will be Andy Pettitte. It is a matchup between two veteran pitchers who have been key members of their respective clubs during the intense Red Sox-Yankees rivalry over the years.
Talking about the pitchers going head-to-head in Tuesday's contest elicited a feeling of nostalgia for veteran Boston reliever Mike Timlin.
"Yeah, they're both old goats," he said with a laugh, jokingly referring to Wakefield, 42, and Pettitte, 36. "It just shows that both of these guys have been around a long time and they've proven their worth at doing what they are doing."
For Boston, the series in New York is important for a variety of reasons. Provided there are no playoff games between the two teams, this will be the last time the Red Sox play in Yankee Stadium, which is in its last season as New York prepares to move into a new facility next year.
More importantly, however, is that the series provides a chance for Boston to create further distance from New York in the American League Wild Card standings. Following Sunday's game, the Sox hold a five-game lead over the Yankees.
New York has played well against Boston this year, with the teams splitting their 12 games so far.Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA)
In his career against the Yankees, the 16-year veteran is 9-17 with a 5.14 ERA. NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17 ERA)
In his career against Boston, the 14-year veteran is 16-7 with a 3.54 ERA.
Some of the Red Sox's hitters have batted extremely well against Pettitte over their careers. First baseman Kevin Youkilis has hit .444 (8-for-18) against the lefty. Right fielder Jason Bay has hit .421 (8-for-19); designated hitter David Ortiz, .357 (15-for-42) and catcher Jason Varitek, .340 (17-for-50). ... When the Sox lost, 11-0, to the Blue Jays on Saturday, it marked the seventh time this year that they were shut out. It also equalled their total for all of the 2007 season. ... With his double in the third inning of Sunday's game, Ortiz snapped an 0-for-11 streak at the plate. ... Jed Lowrie's game-winning home run on Sunday was his first career home run while batting left-handed.
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WRKO 680, SBN 1150 (Español) Up next
Wednesday: Red Sox (Paul Byrd, 8-11, 4.61) at Yankees (Sidney Ponson, 7-4, 4.67), 7:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 12-5, 3.49) at Yankees (Mike Mussina, 16-7, 3.45), 1:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 15-2, 2.98) vs. White Sox (Javier Vazquez, 10-11, 4.37), 7:05 p.m. ET
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.