For the third straight game, David Ortiz will not be part of the Red Sox' starting lineup.
Despite receiving a more balanced attack from their offense in Saturday night's game, the Red Sox still stranded eight runners, losing their fourth straight game as Tim Wakefield couldn't hold the PIrates' offense down.
They'll hope for more Sunday afternoon from the same group of batters.
Boston Red Sox (44-32)
The Red Sox will count themselves lucky to finally be facing a less-impressive righty in James McDonald after drawing Paul Maholm and Jeff Karstens in the first two games. In many ways, McDonald is the opposite of Karstens. He's primarily a fastball pitcher, hitting the low-mid 90s, and can't find the zone with any great regularity. That's exactly the sort of guy the Red Sox should feast on, but four straight bad games can always make a team press.
Andrew MIller had a reasonably successful debut against the Padres last week. Really, he was only the victim of one pitch--the home run ball he gave up to Orlando Hudson--and even that seemed to go where he wanted it to. Other than a few streaks where he seemed to lose control for a few pitches, Miller gave the Sox some reason to be excited. The Pirates aren't the most free-swinging of teams in the game, but they're also one of the worst teams in the game against lefties.
Then again, so were the Padres.