Boston Red Sox (11-12) v. Oakland A's (12-13)
SP - Daniel Bard (2-2, 3.72) v. Brandon McCarthy (1-3, 3.23)
1. Mike Aviles, SS
2. Ryan Sweeney, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Cody Ross, LF
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Willie Middlebrooks, 3B
9. Marlon Byrd, CF
1. The Willie Middlebrooks era starts tonight because of Kevin Youkilis' back injury. Am I crazy for thinking that Middlebrooks can do for the 2012 Red Sox what Evan Longoria did for the 2008 Rays?
2. Aaron Cook, who could have chosen to become a free agent if he wasn't called up to the Red Sox, will replace Josh Beckett in the rotation on Saturday against the Orioles. Beckett, who threw over 120 pitches in his last start, will supposedly miss just one start.
3. The Red Sox signed Mark Prior to a minor league contract. This is a good low risk/high reward move for the Sox. Prior was once a rising star who has been slowed by injuries who could help the Sox out down the stretch.