The 2006 season can’t end soon enough for some of the ailing Boston Red Sox, but Saturday’s game will start earlier than originally scheduled.
The Red Sox seek their third straight victory as they continue their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Predictions of heavy rain late Saturday and early Sunday associated with tropical depression Ernesto caused the Red Sox (73-62) to move this contest— originally scheduled to be a night game—to a 1:05 p.m. start. Sunday’s start time has been changed from 2:05 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.
Meanwhile, injuries and health concerns keep mounting for Boston. Closer Jonathan Papelbon left Friday’s 2-1 Red Sox victory with an injury to his right shoulder after throwing 11 pitches in the ninth inning. He said he felt a burning sensation in the shoulder, but believes he could pitch again in a few days.
“The doctors and the trainers think it’s just a fatigue issue,” said Papelbon, who could still undergo an MRI if the shoulder doesn’t improve.
Papelbon, the third rookie in major league history to record 35 saves, adds yet another injury to a pitching staff littered with them. Starters Tim Wakefield and Matt Clement are on the disabled list, and ace Curt Schilling has been scratched from Monday’s scheduled start with a strain in his right side.
Most seriously, the Red Sox revealed Friday that rookie left-hander Jon Lester has been diagnosed with a treatable form of lymphoma.
Boston slugger David Ortiz, who had said earlier in the week he might return Saturday, will instead wear a heart monitor and be re-examined next week for heart palpitations before doctors will determine if he is healthy enough to play.
“We certainly care a lot about these guys, regardless of how they play or pitch or run or hit, from the first guy on the roster to the last guy,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “It’s very difficult.”
One day after being acquired from Arizona, journeyman Kevin Jarvis (0-1, 11.91 ERA) will make his Red Sox debut. The 37-year-old right-hander, who will be pitching for his 10th major league team in a 13-year career, had been at Triple-A Tucson before being dealt.
Jarvis made one start and four relief appearances for the Diamondbacks this season, allowing 14 runs over 6 2-3 innings in his final two outings. He gave up eight runs and nine hits in five innings of an 8-4 loss at Texas on June 17, then was outrighted to the minors six days later.
He is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in one start and two relief appearances against Toronto, all of which came in 1997.
The Blue Jays (69-66) have lost five consecutive games, all on the road, for the first time since dropping a season-high seven in a row from July 29-Aug. 5. They send A.J. Burnett (6-6, 4.53) to the mound Saturday to try and end the slide.
Burnett saw his own four-game winning streak snapped in his last outing, a 6-4 loss at Cleveland on Monday in which he allowed six runs, 10 hits and a season-high five walks over seven innings. The right-hander, who spent his first seven seasons with Florida, is 2-5 with a 5.17 ERA in eight road starts in his first season in the AL.
Burnett allowed three runs in four innings against the Red Sox on April 21 at Rogers Centre in a game Toronto eventually won 7-6 in 12 innings. He landed on the disabled list after that outing due to soreness in his throwing elbow.