Chicago (79-59) at Boston (75-64)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 6, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After a disastrous stretch, things are starting to look up a little bit for the Boston Red Sox.

With slugger David Ortiz back in the lineup, the Red Sox wrap up their three-game series with the struggling Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Ortiz returned to Boston’s lineup Monday and went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in a 1-0 Boston win. Ortiz was pulled from the lineup on Aug. 28 before a 9-0 loss in Oakland, complaining of heart palpitations.

He returned to Massachusetts and was hospitalized for two days to undergo extensive heart testing and wore a heart monitor over the weekend after being released Thursday.

“I’m just happy to be out of the house,” Ortiz said before batting practice Tuesday. “Everything’s fine, that’s the most important thing.”

Ortiz led the major leagues with 47 homers before sitting out, but has since been overtaken by Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard, who has 53. Ortiz’s timing was off Monday, but the Red Sox were just glad to have him playing again.

“Some fastballs got by him that don’t normally get by him. That will change,” manager Terry Francona said of Ortiz, who was unavailable for comment after the game. “It was good to see him out there.”

The Red Sox (75-64) are all but out of playoff contention following a 9-21 August. Rookie closer Jonathan Papelbon, who left Friday’s 2-1 win over Toronto with shoulder pain, learned Tuesday that he will be sidelined indefinitely.

However, catcher Jason Varitek and right fielder Trot Nixon returned from stints on the DL Monday. Nixon scored Boston’s lone run Tuesday after doubling in the fourth before being driven in by Coco Crisp.

The loss dropped the White Sox (79-59) 1 1/2 games behind AL wild card leader Minnesota, which beat Tampa Bay 8-0. The Red Sox trail the Twins by six games.

Jermaine Dye, who left Monday’s game in the seventh inning with back spasms, did not play Tuesday for the White Sox, who have dropped three straight and five of six.

Boston, whose pitching staff has been devastated by injuries, has gotten a pair of strong outings from in the first two games of this series. Kason Gabbard earned his first major league win with seven strong innings on Tuesday, one night after Julian Taveras gave up just two runs in six innings in his second start of the season.

“Who … is pitching against us tomorrow night?” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said with a laugh.

The White Sox will face Kyle Snyder (4-3, 5.94 ERA), who gave up just two hits and struck out a career-best eight in seven scoreless innings of the win over the Blue Jays on Friday. The victory was his first since July 31 and his first as a starter since July 21.

Snyder is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in four career appearances, including two starts, against the White Sox, but has not faced them this season. He has not started against the White Sox since 2003 while still with Kansas City.

Chicago will counter with Jose Contreras (11-7, 4.23), who lost his third straight decision on Friday, allowing seven runs—two earned—in five innings of a 7-5 road loss to Kansas City.

The Cuban-born right-hander is 2-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 10 starts since his 17-decision winning streak ended.

Contreras is 2-4 with a 10.36 ERA in eight career regular-season appearances, including seven starts, against the Red Sox—his worst ERA against any team. However, he is 2-0 with a 5.09 ERA in his last three starts against them.

He gave up three runs in six innings without receiving a decision on July 9.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Contreras Tex vs. K. Snyder NYM
13-9 Record 4-5
4.27 ERA 6.56
134 K 57
55 BB 20
1.27 WHIP 1.77


Wednesday, Sep 6