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Wakefield kicks off homestand

Wakefield kicks off homestand

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When they open a seven-game homestand at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox will try to wash away the sour taste of being swept in a three-game series for the first time this season.

The opponent is the Texas Rangers, who come to Boston for four games. Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield draws the start for the Sox. He'll be opposed by Jamey Wright.

If it seems like the Red Sox haven't been at Fenway in a while, it's because they haven't. This is the first time Boston will play amid the backdrop of the Green Monster since June 17.

The Sox went 4-5 on their three-game journey through Atlanta, San Diego and Seattle.

"It was a long road trip," said Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew. "We've been away for a while now and it doesn't seem like we've been at home for a while, so it will be nice to get back."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (7-8, 4.52 ERA)
Wakefield suffered a loss in his last start when the Padres belted him around for eight hits and six runs over 5 1/3 innings. In June, the knuckleballer is 2-3 with a 7.06 ERA. Wakefield is 3-3 with a 5.54 ERA at Fenway this season. In his career against the Rangers, he is 8-14 with a 5.85 ERA.

TEX: RHP Jamey Wright (1-1, 7.43 ERA)
On Saturday, in his third start of the season, Wright yielded three hits, five walks and two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a victory against Houston. It was Wright's second start after missing two months with right shoulder inflammation.

Player to watch
Look for Alex Cora to get the start at either second base or shortstop. The utility man is a .career .409 hitter (9-for-22) against Wright with a homer and four RBIs.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 11-1, 3.07) vs. Rangers (Robinson Tejeda, 5-7, 6.57), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 5-5, 4.60) vs. Rangers (Kameron Loe, 4-6, 6.02), 2:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Red Sox (Kason Gabbard, 1-0, 6.48) vs. Rangers (TBD), 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.

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