Boston (95-63) at Baltimore (77-81)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 32° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Fri Oct 1, 2004
  • TV: NESN, WB54
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While the Boston Red Sox set themselves up for the playoffs this weekend, the Baltimore Orioles will try to avoid a seventh straight losing season.

The AL East rivals will wrap up the regular season with a four-game series at Camden Yards.

The Red Sox clinched a playoff spot earlier this week, but were eliminated from the division race when New York beat Minnesota on Thursday.

The Red Sox will likely rest some key players, and take a long look at their pitching staff before deciding on their final postseason roster.

Manager Terry Francona said knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will start Friday’s series opener, but hasn’t determined if staff ace Curt Schilling, expected to start Game 1 in next week’s division series, will take his scheduled turn this weekend.

“With the day off tomorrow (Thursday), it gives us a whole day to really look at everything and evaluate a lot of things,” Francona said on Wednesday.

Schilling or struggling right-hander Pedro Martinez will pitch in the playoff opener. Also to be determined are the third and fourth starters for the opening round.

Wakefield has not made a strong case for a postseason start, going 0-3 with an 8.20 ERA in five starts this month. The veteran right-hander is 4-4 with a 5.21 ERA in 11 career postseason games, including seven starts.

The Orioles will need to sweep the Red Sox to finish at .500, and appear intent on reaching that goal after winning seven of eight to climb within four games of the break-even mark for the first time since Aug. 17.

“Getting to .500 would be a huge stepping stone for next season,” outfielder David Newhan said after Baltimore beat Toronto 9-3 on Thursday. “It would be a nice capper to the season.”

Miguel Tejada homered and drove in three runs against the Blue Jays to boost his major league-leading and franchise-record RBI total to 146.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Wakefield Bos vs. R. López Phi
12-10 Record 14-9
4.87 ERA 3.59
116 K 121
63 BB 54
1.38 WHIP 1.28