Boston (86-69) at Chicago (83-72)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Mon Sep 27, 2010
  • TV: NESN, CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Clay Buchholz(notes) will try do his part to keep the Boston Red Sox from being eliminated from the wild-card race, but it isn’t completely in his hands anymore.

However, he does have a good chance to take over the AL ERA lead.

Buchholz will attempt to help the Red Sox bounce back from a heartbreaking loss when they open a four-game road series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Boston (86-69) had a chance to tighten the race for the wild card entering the final week of the regular season, but a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Yankees on Sunday dropped the Red Sox 6 1/2 games back with seven to play.

Jonathan Papelbon(notes) blew the save in the ninth and Hideki Okajima(notes) took the loss after walking in the winning run with the bases loaded. A loss Monday or a win by New York at Toronto would keep Boston from the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

“I think we came in and showed what kind character this team has,” Bill Hall(notes) said. “We’re going to try to win out.”

While the Red Sox’s year is coming to a disappointing end, Buchholz (16-7, 2.39 ERA) is still trying to close the season on a high note, although his bid for the AL Cy Young Award could be in trouble with one win in his last five starts.

Buchholz gave up one unearned run in six innings of a 9-1 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday, although he didn’t factor in the decision. He trails only Seattle’s Felix Hernandez(notes), who has a league-leading 2.31 ERA.

“It definitely feels good to have a little bit of consistency,” he told the Red Sox’s official website. “Every time I go out there, I expect to do good, too.”

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 9.95 ERA in his career against the White Sox. He gave up two runs in five innings of a 3-1 loss Sept. 4 at Fenway Park.

Chicago (83-72) has won four straight, sweeping a three-game set from the Angels over the weekend after snapping an eight-game losing streak Thursday in Oakland.

Juan Pierre(notes) tripled home the tying run and scored on Omar Vizquel’s(notes) single in the seventh inning to complete a come-from-behind 4-3 win Sunday.

“I talked to the players in Oakland about how I feel about them, how we play, why we should continue to play,” manager Ozzie Guillen told the White Sox’s official website. “They’re big leaguers, they’re very professional, very loyal to the ballclub.”

Guillen will hand the ball to Mark Buehrle(notes) (12-12, 4.27), who looks to snap a six-game winless streak during which he’s posted a 5.92 ERA.

Buehrle lost his second consecutive start Tuesday, yielding five runs and 11 hits in six innings of a 7-2 defeat to the Athletics.

The left-hander is 6-5 with a 4.48 ERA in his career against Boston, winning his last two home starts. He gave up four runs and 10 hits over seven innings of a 7-5 win at Fenway on Sept. 5, but did not factor in the decision.

Chicago swept a three-game series in Boston earlier this month and won three of four at home last year.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Buchholz Bos vs. M. Buehrle Tor
17-7 Record 13-13
2.33 ERA 4.28
120 K 99
67 BB 49
1.20 WHIP 1.40

Scoreboard

Monday, Sep 27