A road trip that started with a giant pothole -- three straight losses at Oakland -- now has a chance to end on a good note for the Red Sox.
If the Sox can win the final two games in Arizona, they would go 4-3 on the seven-game journey. Boston sends Julian Tavarez to the mound on Saturday night in hopes of extending a modest winning streak to three games.
Backed by a slump-busting performance by J.D. Drew (two homers, seven RBIs), the Sox took the opener against the Diamondbacks, 10-3.
For the second consecutive game, David Ortiz will play first base thanks to having no designated hitter in the National League park. Mike Lowell will get the night off, with Kevin Youkilis moving across the diamond to third.
Righty setup man Mike Timlin, who went on the disabled list on May 3 with right shoulder tendinitis, will be available in this one.
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (3-4, 5.33 ERA)
Tavarez has lasted 5 2/3 innings in each of his past three starts. He gave up nine hits to the Oakland A's on Monday night, just one shy of his season-high. He's allowed nine runs in 17 innings following his best outing of the season on May 17 when he gave up one run on four hits in seven innings in beating the Detroit Tigers.
ARI: RHP Micah Owings (4-1, 3.86 ERA)
Owings has not started since May 29 when he faced the Phillies in Philadelphia. The right-hander didn't have his best stuff in that game, but still allowed just one run on seven hits over five innings. Owings has twice been skipped when the team has had off days, but it's not performance based as he has given them more than they could have expected heading into Spring Training. He has lived up to his Minor League reputation of finding a way to win. Last year he was a combined 16-2 at Double-A and Triple-A.
Player to watch
Now that Drew is out of his slump, the Sox hope to get Coco Crisp (.225) on track.
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Sunday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 7-4, 4.63) at Diamondbacks (Randy Johnson, 3-2, 3.78), 4:40 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 5-7, 4.22) vs. Rockies (Aaron Cook, 4-2, 4.54), 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.