After Hurricane Earl swept through New England, Boston is bracing for another whirlwind Saturday at Fenway Park.
The storm forced Friday night’s series opener between the Red Sox and Chicago White Sox to be postponed, setting up a day-night doubleheader that will feature Manny Ramirez’s(notes) latest reunion with his former team.
Ramirez helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and 2007, but went through a messy breakup with the team in 2008. He got a mixed reaction from Boston’s fans June 18-20 while returning for the first time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The enigmatic veteran did not speak to reporters while going 5 for 12 with a home run in that series, but he took the blame in a conversation with the media Friday.
“I think everything was my fault,” Ramirez said. “You’ve got to be a real man to realize when you do wrong. Hey, it was my fault, right? I’m already past that stage. I’m happy. I’m in a new team.”
The White Sox (73-60) hope Ramirez can help them catch AL Central-leading Minnesota. The 38-year-old DH made his debut Wednesday, going 1 for 3 with a single.
“A lot of people expect Manny to come in here and be the savior,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We have 20 or 30 guys out there pulling the same rope. Manny does not have to carry this ballclub. I hope he does. Everybody does.
“He’s going to make our lineup better. He’ll make people better around him. Our hope is to keep him healthy, play him as much as we can, and just have some fun.”
The White Sox enjoyed Cleveland this week, sweeping a three-game set to begin a 10-game road trip. Chicago hasn’t won four straight since a five-game winning streak July 26-30.
The Red Sox (76-58) have a better record, but face a steeper climb in the difficult AL East in order to reach the postseason. They scored 15 runs while winning their last two at Baltimore this week.
Having Clay Buchholz(notes) (15-5, 2.21 ERA) on the mound for Saturday’s opener seems likely to help. The right-hander leads the majors in ERA and looks like a prime Cy Young candidate after going 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA in his last seven starts.
Buchholz has allowed one earned run over 28 1-3 innings in his last four outings, but that came on a game-tying solo home run Saturday by Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton(notes). The shot cost Buchholz a victory, and the Red Sox lost 3-2 in 10 innings.
He has struggled in two previous starts against the White Sox, going 0-1 with a 14.09 ERA.
The left-hander matched a career high by giving up eight runs, along with four walks and three homers in 4 1-3 innings of a 12-9 loss.
Floyd appears to be turning things around, yielding two runs in each of his last two starts after giving up at least six in his previous two. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox last year.
Lackey continues to struggle, going 2-3 with a 5.75 ERA in his last six outings, including Sunday’s loss to the Rays. Ramirez is hitting .429 with five homers and three doubles in 28 career at-bats against the right-hander.
These will be the first meetings between these teams in 2010, making it the last AL season series to begin for both clubs. They split eight games last year.