Sox turn to ace in finale

Sox turn to ace in finale

Regardless of how Curt Schilling performed in his past two starts, the Red Sox have been winning the games he pitches in. Still, the big right-hander has struggled as of late -- at least according to his standards.

While he surrendered only two runs in his outing on Thursday, Schilling labored through 118 pitches over six innings against Detroit. His start before that was worse, when he gave up nine hits and four runs to the Orioles in 5 1/3 innings on May 12.

Even so, as catcher Jason Varitek points out, the Red Sox are winning when he pitches.

"He still gives us a chance to win, so [his latest outings] don't really faze me," Varitek said. "He only gave up a couple of runs in his last start, and I think he is fractions off of being really, really good."

Whether or not Schilling is effective on Wednesday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, right fielder J.D. Drew could help him out on the offensive side of things. Drew owns a career .429 batting average against Yankees scheduled starter Andy Pettitte, including a double and two home runs in 14 at-bats.

Drew, however, has struggled this season, batting .237 with two homers -- but manager Terry Francona keeps faith in Drew.

"He's going to put together a streak," Francona said. "And if we don't panic or hit him eighth or whatever, we'll be the recipient of that."

Pettitte, who took the loss against the Mets in his last start on Friday, holds a career 13-6 record against Boston with a 3.18 ERA in 25 games.

Yankees Coverage
Jeter's late homer lifts Yanks
Yanks gear up for lesser opponents
Chamberlain springs curve on Sox
Notes: Peace of mind for Posada

Red Sox Coverage
Schilling's gem ends with loss
Bauman: Game mirrors Classic duel
Sox don't take lead for granted
Notes: Matsuzaka pushed back
Season Series
Yankees win 10-8
• 9/16: Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
• 9/15: Red Sox 10,Yankees 1
• 9/14: Yankees 8, Red Sox 7
Previous season series
2006: Yankees 11, Red Sox 8
2005: Yankees 10, Red Sox 9
2004: Red Sox 11, Yankees 8

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (4-1, 3.57 ERA)
The Red Sox have been winning the games Schilling starts, but the right-hander has struggled as of late. That's not a good sign as he faces the Bombers for the second time this season. In his first start against the Yankees on April 20, he was touched for eight hits and five runs. The Red Sox did, however, win that game.

NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-3, 2.83 ERA)
Pettitte continues to pitch well, but opposite of Schilling, his team hasn't been winning when he starts. In his last outing against the Mets, Pettitte gave up five hits and three runs in seven innings, striking out four and walking one in a 3-2 loss at Shea Stadium.

Player to watch
His .267 batting average against Schilling might not be superb, but when Jason Giambi gets a hit off of the Red Sox's right-hander, it goes a long way. The designated hitter holds a career .700 slugging percentage against Schilling, including four home runs and eight RBIs in 30 at-bats.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI 850 AM, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 6-2, 4.06) at Texas (Brandon McCarthy, 4-4, 5.82), 8:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 4-5, 3.14) at Texas (Vicente Padilla, 2-6, 5.52), 8:05 p.m. ET

Caleb Breakey is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.