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Game 81: Red Sox Head Down South, Take On MLB-Worst Astros

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After dropping two of three games to the best team in the National League, the Boston Red Sox will look to win their first series since June 19 as they head down to Texas to face the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros (29-53). This seems like a series the Red Sox can sweep, but we all thought when they faced the Pirates.

For game one, Boston will turn to Tim Wakefield, who is looking for win number five on the season. Wakefield last pitched on June 25 against the Pirates, where he went six innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits. Wakefield has a career 4.91 ERA against the Astros. However, this is when the Astros were, well, actually good.

Former Red Sox bench coach and current Astros manager Brad Mills will send out young right hander Bud Norris, who will also be looking for his fifth win of the season. In his last start against the Rays, Norris pitched five innings while giving up three earned runs on six total hits in an eventual loss. Norris has never faced the Red Sox before in his career.

After scoring five runs yesterday against the Phillies, the Red Sox offense will look to keep it going again today. Kevin Youkilis will be back in tonight's lineup after hurting his ankle on Saturday, batting fourth and playing third base. No David Ortiz this evening, as Adrian Gonzalez will be playing at first base this evening. Because of the right hander, Terry Francona will start Josh Reddick in left field and J.D. Drew in right. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will catch Tim Wakefield, batting sixth. Here's the full lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B

5. J.D. Drew, RF

6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

7. Josh Reddick, LF

8. Marco Scutaro, SS

9. Tim Wakefield, SP

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 4-3 18 9 0 0 0 0 69.1 59 39 35 11 24 33 4.54 1.20

Bud Norris

#20 / Pitcher / Houston Astros

6-0

220

R

R

Mar 02, 1985

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Bud Norris 4-6 16 16 0 0 0 0 99.0 85 45 37 10 38 100 3.36 1.24

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Radio: WEEI 850 AM

Go Sox!