Tavarez takes Wells' start vs. Jays

Tavarez takes Wells' start vs. Jays

After a road trip that was as hard on the field (2-7) as it was in the trainer's room (key players galore were out of action), the Red Sox hope that Fenway Park can help cure their recent woes.

Right-hander Julian Tavarez will take the start in place of left-hander David Wells, whose name has been bandied about in numerous trade rumors the past few days.

Tavarez will be opposed by one of the best pitchers in baseball in Toronto's Roy Halladay.

The Red Sox will try to hang tough, despite all the adversity they've faced in recent days. Manny Ramirez, Wily Mo Pena and David Ortiz are all likely to be out of the lineup again on Thursday night. Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon and Alex Gonzalez are still a few days away from returning from the disabled list. Coco Crisp is day-to-day with a sore left shoulder.

"We're playing bad," said Red Sox ace Curt Schilling. "You don't want anybody to be happy with what's going on or feel good about it. We're going to show up tomorrow, Roy Halladay's going to be on the mound and nobody's going to feel sorry for us. We're struggling in all facets right now, and we have to find a way to pick it up."

Thursday's game kicks off a 10-game homestand against the Blue Jays, White Sox and Royals.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (2-4, 4.71 ERA)
Julian Tavarez has made 57 relief appearances this season for the Red Sox but hasn't started since 2002 with Florida.

TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (16-4, 3.12 ERA)
Halladay suffered a hard-luck loss in his last trip to the mound. On Aug. 26, the former Cy Young Award winner gave up two runs -- both on solo home runs -- on four hits in a complete-game effort against Kansas City. Through the first three innings, Halladay threw 34 pitches, including only three balls. He threw 24 first-pitch strikes to the 31 batters he faced, struck out seven, and recorded 17 outs via groundballs. Unfortunately for Halladay and the Blue Jays, the Royals defeated the Jays, 2-0, and robbed the pitcher's bid to become the first Major Leaguer to reach 17 wins. Halladay is 8-6 with a 4.46 ERA in 26 career outings against Boston.

Player to watch
Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus has feasted against Wells in his career, hitting .355 (11-for-31) with five doubles and a homer.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP Kyle Snyder, 3-3, 6.91) vs. Blue Jays (LHP Ted Lilly, 11-11, 4.78), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (TBA) vs. Blue Jays (RHP A.J. Burnett, 6-6, 4.53), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (LHP Josh Beckett, 14-9, 5.11) vs. Blue Jays (LHP Gustavo Chacin, 6-3, 5.90), 7:05 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.