Postponement forces Brewers into doubleheader
Francona had missed the previous two-game series in Baltimore because of the death of his mother-in-law. Now he’s set to manage two games today, one that had been scheduled for 2:55 p.m. (CDT) and a makeup of Friday’s rainout at 7:35 p.m.
Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-0) and Milwaukee’s Jeff Suppan (2-3), who were scheduled to start Friday night, will pitch in the opener. Today’s originally scheduled starters, Boston’s Tim Wakefield (3-2) and Milwaukee’s Dave Bush (1-4), were pushed back to the night game.
The postponement was the first of the year for both teams, and came after a delay of 1 hour, 25 minutes.
The teams have met in interleague play in only one series with the Red Sox taking two of three games in June 2003.
They last faced each other in Boston on Sept. 7, 1997, when Milwaukee was still in the American League. The Red Sox won 11-2 with six homers, four off starter Jeff D’Amico. John Valentin hit two homers and Troy O’Leary had a grand slam.
Manny Ramirez’s pursuit of his 500th homer—he needs two—was put off for a day by the rain. He hit his 498th Monday at Minnesota.
Boston right fielder J.D. Drew, who missed one game with a sprained left wrist, and shortstop Julio Lugo, who missed five with a mild concussion, were in Friday’s lineup.
“Lugo was cleared (Thursday) so he’s all set to go,” Francona said. “J.D. talked to the trainers and said he felt good.”
Because of television commitments on other games this weekend, there were indications the teams could not reschedule the postponement as part of a doubleheader this weekend. But they found a way to do that.
“I’d rather do that than come back in August, to be honest with you,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “Instead of coming in here on an off day and playing a game, I’d rather just go ahead and play it.”
Had Friday’s game started after a rain delay, he said, he would have started Mark DiFelice instead of Suppan. DiFelice was called up Thursday from Triple-A Nashville when reliever David Riske went on the disabled list.
Yost wasn’t worried about putting a strain on his pitching staff with three games in two days.
“I’ve got an off day Monday,” he said. “I’m OK with that. Three days in a row is what kills me. That’s not going to be the case anyway.”