"He's proved his value," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "He's given us some tremendous starts. He's just been a valuable arm to us all year, most of it's been as a starter. Hopefully, he can continue to do that."
How does Tavarez so easily bounce between starting and relieving?
"It's mental," said Tavarez.
In this one, Tavarez will be opposed by Steve Trachsel. The Red Sox will aim to snap a two-game losing streak. Gagne is likely to be activated before the game.
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (6-8, 5.08 ERA)
Tavarez, who made 18 starts before moving to the bullpen on July 22, will make his first start since July 18. In that contest against the Royals, he gave up nine hits and six runs (four earned) over 4 2/3 innings. In three appearances in relief, Tavarez surrendered no earned runs. Lifetime against the Orioles, Tavarez is 2-3 with a 4.68 ERA.
BAL: RHP Steve Trachsel (5-7, 5.26 ERA)
Trachsel looked very hittable -- again -- in his last start, continuing his troubling trend of poor performances. The veteran righty lasted only 4 2/3 innings and surrendered five runs -- including two homers -- on seven hits to the Rays. Even working with a sizable lead for most of the outing, he couldn't get through many innings unscathed. Trachsel was hit hard, as eight Rays hit into flyouts and 10 reached base with Trachsel on the mound. Over his last six outings, he has a 9.23 ERA and has pitched into the seventh inning only once.
Player to watch
Sox third baseman Mike Lowell is 10-for-29 lifetime against Trachsel.
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Official game notes
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Thursday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 7-3, 2.89) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 12-9, 4.59), 1:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 1-0, 4.26) at Mariners (Horacio Ramirez, 6-3, 6.52), 10:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 12-8, 3.75) at Mariners (Jarrod Washburn, 8-7, 4.11), 10:05 p.m. ET