Tavarez aims to baffle O's

Tavarez aims to baffle O's

The Red Sox will try to stay on their current roll when they trade road grays for home whites, opening a 10-game homestand Friday night at Fenway Park against the Orioles.

Since April 18, the Red Sox are 16-5. They lead the American League East by seven games.

The Sox, who went 5-1 on their road trip through Minnesota and Toronto, have won four in a row.

"It was a great road trip," said Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "For us, it was a really good road trip. To win two series is great. And when you sweep a series, even better. Going back home, we have a lot of confidence. Hopefully we'll just keep on rolling and win each series while we're home."

The Red Sox come into the homestand with a rested bullpen. The starters consistently went deep into games on the road trip and closer Jonathan Papelbon didn't even pitch during the sweep against the Jays.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (1-3, 6.48 ERA)
Tavarez has been in more of a groove in his last two starts. He beat the Yankees on April 29 in the Bronx by allowing only Doug Mientkiewicz's three-run homer in five-plus innings, then came back with a quality start against the Twins and Johan Santana on Saturday night at the Metrodome (two runs in six innings with seven strikeouts). In 13 career appearances against the Orioles, the 33-year-old Tavarez is 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA.

BAL: LHP Brian Burres (0-1, 3.71 ERA)
Burres got knocked out in the fourth inning of his first big-league start on Sunday against the Indians. The southpaw was Baltimore's first contingency plan to replace injured starter Adam Loewen, who will be out for the foreseeable future. Burres gave up seven hits and five earned runs in his first start, but there aren't many other options within the organization. If he stumbles again, he may go back to the bullpen.

Player to watch
Mike Lowell has gone deep in the last three games.

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
• Saturday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 4-1, 3.28) vs. Orioles (Steve Trachsel, 1-3, 3.70), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 7-0, 2.51) vs. Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 2-1, 4.64), 2:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 4-2, 4.80) vs. Tigers (Nate Robertson, 3-2, 3.43), 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.