A trip West might be what Boston needs to overcome its recent rough stretch and possibly make up ground in the AL East.
The Red Sox try for consecutive wins for the first time in more than two weeks Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics.
Boston (53-40) had lost eight of 11 since winning two straight to open July but began its 10-game swing by snapping Oakland’s five-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory Monday.
Trying to stay afloat without injured stars Dustin Pedroia(notes) (foot), Victor Martinez(notes) (thumb), Jason Varitek(notes) (foot), Jacoby Ellsbury(notes) (ribs) and Mike Lowell(notes) (hip), the Red Sox are third in the East, six games behind the first-place Yankees. They hope this trek to Oakland, Seattle and Anaheim will help them turn things around.
Adrian Beltre(notes), however, is 6 for 15 with two homers in his last four games since the All-Star break after a 3-for-4 performance in this series opener. He is 4 for 10 with two doubles and a home run against Oakland’s Dallas Braden(notes) (4-7, 3.83 ERA), who returns Tuesday after missing the last month with elbow stiffness.
Braden, who hasn’t pitched since June 22, is 0-5 with a 4.31 ERA in eight starts since tossing a perfect game against Tampa Bay on May 9.
“Unless there’s a setback, he’s pitching,” manager Bob Geren told the Athletics’ official website. “I don’t anticipate a setback.”
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox, holding them to two runs over six innings in an 8-2 win at home April 13, 2009.
After giving up seven runs and eight hits in two innings of a 7-2 defeat to Texas on Thursday, the knuckleballer has allowed 13 runs in 7 2-3 innings over his last two starts.
“I’m as dumbfounded as anybody else,” Wakefield said.
The right-hander went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA against the A’s in 2009 but allowed six runs in six innings of a 9-8 loss to Oakland on June 3.
The loss came hours after the team announced outfielder Ryan Sweeney(notes) will miss the rest of the season to undergo surgery on his right knee. Sweeney was batting a team-leading .294 with one homer, 20 doubles and 36 RBIs.
The Athletics have 10 players on the disabled list.