Extra Bases

What a difference a day makes

Wow, what a difference 24 little hours can make. This time yesterday, the Sox were in the midst of postponing a scheduled 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners, who have been luckless when it comes to the weather.

Remember, it was the Mariners who had their first four road games of the season snowed out in Cleveland.

Ah, but we digress.

Today we find Fenway bathed in beautiful sunlight, but buffeted by a strong gust that is whipping around the flag pole in center field and has the potential to turn a routine fly ball into a homer.

Tonight the visiting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (try saying that fast three times) send righthander John Lackey (2-0, 0.75 ERA) to the mound to face the Sox’ right-handed knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (0-1, 1.50).

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Sox manager Terry Francona indicated in his pre-game huddle with reporters that, in setting the pitching rotation after a rainout, he greatly appreciated a guy like Julian Tavarez who had his scheduled start tonight pushed back to Marathon Monday, when forecasters are calling for a Nor’easter to arrive Boston.

“To have a guy who is willing and can do it, certainly helps,” Francona said. “We kind of gave him the scenarios we saw and he said, `Fine,’ so it does help. He doesn’t give you that look like, `How do you expect me to win a game.’ It’s more like, `OK, how I do I best prepare for it.’ So that’s good and it’s appreciated also.”

Francona also indicated he hoped to try and give Wily Mo Pena a start in this series. Pena, who was supposed to make his first start of the season in Thursday’s game that was rained out, has had just three at-bats this season, which is 397 shy of the 400 at-bats Francona had hoped to get Pena this season.

“Yeah, we’ll get him in there,” Francona said. “I’d like to get him in there his weekend, but we’ll continue to look at it.”

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Doc Rivers was part of a large Celtics contingent that came to Fenway for Thursday’s game against the Mariners in which the Sox had planned a tribute to the late Red Auerbach and the Celtics organization.

Rivers, in a pregame press conference, told of how he came to meet Francona in his first year in Boston and how he came to really admire the Sox manager “because he’s a gutty manager,” Rivers said.

Apprised of Rivers’ compliment, Francona said he regretted not being able to talk with Rivers personally Thursday but was in the middle of preparing for the Angels series. “I respect the way he’s handled a very tough year,” Francona said of Rivers.

The lineups:

Red Sox
1. Julio Lugo, SS
2. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Coco Crisp, CF
8. Doug Mirabelli, C
9. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

Angels

1. Gary Matthews Jr., CF
2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
3. Vlad Guerrero, RF
4. Garret Anderson, LF
5. Shea Hillenbrand, DH
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Howard Kendrick, 2B
8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Maicer Izturis, 3B

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