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Game 45: Wakefield, Red Sox Look To Claim Rubber Game Against Cubs

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After a devastating eighth inning collapse yesterday, the Boston Red Sox look to finish off the series on a high note as they take on the Chicago Cubs in game three of their weekend series. Today's pitching matchup is not very sexy, as a couple of stopgaps will go to work.

The Red Sox will call on 44-year old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to close out the series against the Cubs. Wakefield last started a game against the Seattle Mariners back on May 1. Wake went five strong innings, giving up only one run on three hits. Wakefield will be starting in place of John Lackey, who hit the disabled list earlier this week with elbow tightness. He is 0-1 this season with a 5.40 ERA, and is a career 3-1 with a 3.68 ERA against Chicago.

The Cubs will send out young left-hander James Russell, who will start in place of the scratched Matt Garza (thank god). Russell saw some spot-start action with the Cubs this season, but has failed to get out of the fourth inning in his three starts (all losses). Russell appeared in the game on Friday's Red Sox rout of the Cubs, where he tossed three innings of two-hit ball. Other than that, Russell has never seen the Red Sox in his career. Here is the lineup he will face:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B

5. David Ortiz, DH

6. Jed Lowrie, SS

7. Mike Cameron, RF

8. Carl Crawford, LF

9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

Tim Wakefield

#49 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox

6-2

210

R

R

Aug 02, 1966

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Wakefield 0-1 11 2 0 0 0 0 23.1 24 17 14 4 8 11 5.40 1.37

James Russell

#40 / Pitcher / Chicago Cubs

6-4

200

L

L

Jan 08, 1986

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - James Russell 1-4 13 4 0 0 0 1 23.0 30 18 16 6 6 13 6.26 1.57

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Go Sox!