Wakefield looking for support

Wakefield looking for support

First there was the Fenway Park opener. Then there was the Daisuke Matsuzaka Fenway Park opener. Thursday? Just a normal baseball game between the Red Sox and Mariners, minus all of the glitzy subplots.

Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, weather permitting, takes the ball in the rubber match of a three-game series.

In his season debut last Friday in Texas, Wakefield was strong (six innings, three hits, one earned run) in a losing effort to the Rangers.

"I feel great. I said that in Spring Training," said Wakefield. "I feel 100 percent. I was able to get all my work done in Spring Training without any problems and it was good to get this first one out of the way. Unfortunately, I took the loss."

Wakefield's mission in this one will simply be to pitch the same type of game, albeit with better run support.

Jarrod Washburn gets the start for the Mariners. After getting positively dominated by Felix Hernandez (one-hit shutout) on Wednesday, the Sox will be happy to see anyone else on the mound.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (0-1, 1.50 ERA)
The knuckleballer continued an unfortunate theme from last season on Friday when he didn't get run support in his first start. Wakefield suffered a 2-0 loss to Robinson Tejeda and the Rangers. He hopes to have better luck in his home debut against Seattle, a team Wakefield is 3-8 lifetime against with a 4.37 ERA. This will be appearance No. 228 for Wakefield at Fenway Park, where he is 67-60 with a 4.33 ERA.

SEA: LHP Jarrod Washburn (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
The veteran Washburn, who led the staff last season in quality starts with 16, is 1-for-1 in 2007, but settled for a no-decision as Seattle squandered a three-run lead. He held the Athletics to two runs over six innings in his first start of the season. Washburn has a 3-3 record and 4.66 ERA in his career against the Red Sox, going 0-1 in two starts against them last season.

Player to watch
Wily Mo Pena will make his first start of the season for the Red Sox, with J.D. Drew getting the day off.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO-680 AM, Spanish Baseball Network (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Angels (RHP John Lackey, 2-0, 0.75) at Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 0-1, 9.00), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Angels (RHP Kelvim Escobar, 1-1, 3.18) at Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 1-1, 4.91), 3:55 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Angels (LHP Ervin Santana, 1-1, 6.35) at Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 2-0, 1.50), 2:05 p.m. ET