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Sox send Dice-K to salvage finale

Sox send Dice-K to salvage finale

The Red Sox will try to avoid being swept by the Tigers on Sunday in the last game before the All-Star break for both teams.

With Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound and Boston having used six pitchers (starter Kason Gabbard and five relievers) in Saturday night's 3-2, 13-inning loss to Detroit, don't be surprised if Matsuzaka is allowed to throw well over 100 pitches.

"He might have to throw around 185 pitches," joked David Ortiz after Saturday night's game.

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But Boston's hitting with runners in scoring position, or lack thereof, was certainly no joke Saturday.

Ortiz's home run in the first inning was Boston's only hit with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox were 0-for-11 in those situations for the rest of the game.

Both teams will be represented well at Tuesday's All-Star Game in San Francisco. The Red Sox will send six players: Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, and American League Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote winner Hideki Okajima.

The Tigers will send five players: Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco, Carlos Guillen and Justin Verlander.

Polanco left Saturday's game in the eighth with a mild right lat strain, and he was not expected to play in the series finale.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (10-5, 3.53 ERA)
On Tuesday, there was no stopping Matsuzaka, who has recovered from a tough stretch in late May. Matsuzaka's only complete game of the season came against the Tigers on May 14. Against the Devil Rays in his last start, he threw eight innings and struck out nine.

DET: LHP Nate Robertson (4-6, 4.86 ERA)
The good news for Robertson was the season-high eight strikeouts in his last start on Tuesday against the Indians. The bad news was that he had to labor to get those strikeouts, with 108 pitches in just five innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and didn't factor in the decision of a 5-4 Tigers loss. The Red Sox recorded 11 hits and three runs over five innings against him in a game earlier this season. Robertson is 1-3 with a 6.55 ERA in six career appearances against the Red Sox.

Player to watch
Ortiz is 6-for-11 in his last three games after going 2-for-2 with four walks (three intentional), a two-run homer and a double on Saturday night.

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/SBN

Up next
• Monday-Wednesday: All-Star break
• Thursday: Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 10-3, 4.46) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 9-8, 4.39), 7:05 p.m. ET

Paul Harris is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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