Wakefield takes on Orioles in return

Red Sox eyeing series win behind Wakefield

After nearly two months of being sidelined, veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will be back on the mound Wednesday night at Camden Yards, when the Red Sox play the second game of this three-game series against the Orioles.

Wakefield last pitched for the Sox on July 17 before being sidelined with a stress fracture in his ribcage.

The Red Sox badly missed his dependability and durability during his time on the disabled list.

Wakefield pitched a five-inning simulated game as a tuneup for his return to action, leaving manager Terry Francona unsure of what his pitch count will be.

"We're really going to have to play it by ear, I just don't know," Francona said. "When he gets locked in, he's comfortable. We've all seen him get that thing floating and when he's going good, he's getting outs. Obviously you want to win the game. The main objective is having him exit and feeling good about himself."

After holding on for a 6-5 win in the opener, the Red Sox are 12-1 against the Orioles this season.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (7-8, 4.14 ERA)
Wakefield is expected to make his first start since suffering a stress fracture of a rib in mid-July. The knuckleballer was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 22, retroactive to July 18, and hasn't pitched since a four-inning no-decision against Kansas City on July 17. Wakefield hasn't lost in his last five starts, going 3-0 with two no-decisions. He is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA against Baltimore this season, and 13-12 with a 4.03 ERA lifetime against the Orioles.

BAL: LHP Erik Bedard (13-9, 3.91 ERA)
Bedard picked up a win in his last start after going seven straight outings without a victory. His 13 wins lead the Baltimore staff and are more than double his previous season high. In two starts against the Red Sox this season, Bedard has pitched a total of nine innings, giving up six earned runs and nine hits.

Player to watch
Outfielder Gabe Kapler is 4-for-8 lifetime against Bedard with a double 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
• Thursday: Red Sox (LHP, Lenny DiNardo 1-2, 7.42) at Orioles (LHP Adam Loewen, 5-5, 5.32), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP, Josh Beckett, 14-10, 5.09) at Yankees (RHP Jaret Wright, 9-7, 4.62), 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.