TORONTO — Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Tim Wakefield will remain in the rotation and make his next start Tuesday against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
The 45-year-old knuckleballer was denied his 200th career victory in Wednesday night’s 11-10 loss to the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre when he departed after five innings with an 8-5 lead.
It will be Wakefield’s eighth attempt at his milestone triumph since winning his 199th July 24 against the Seattle Mariners.
Francona said John Lackey, who starts tomorrow night against Tampa Bay, will likely follow Wakefied in the rotation and start Wednesday.
“We do have the ability to see how guys bounce back from their outings before we have to make a decision,” Francona said. “With the off day, with [Kyle] Weiland and [Andrew] Miller and things like that. So it’s kind of in pencil, but we need to figure out where [Erik] Bedard fits in, things like that.”
In other pregame items:
• Francona said the decision to give Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford the night off had little to do with their lackluster career numbers against Toronto lefthanded starter Ricky Romero (13-10, 2.97 ERA).
Gonzalez is 1 for 6 against Romero and Crawford 2 for 17.
“We’re going to have a late arrival [in Tampa], and when you give ’em a day off, you’d like to pick a day where maybe it’s against a guy they don’t see the ball or something,” Francona said. “So, we went to Gonzy and he said `I’m OK with that.’ When he says that, it’ll be good for him.
“It’ll give Carl a break on this turf, too, with us going to turf next. Just trying to balance rest with production.”
• Francona flopped David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis in the batting order, with Ortiz hitting out of the cleanup spot for the 10th time this season and Youkilis hitting fifth. Dustin Pedroia is hitting third for the first time since July 6.
“I feel like we got a decent batting order,” Francona said.
• Asked for an update on Josh Beckett, who suffered a sprained right ankle in Monday’s 1-0 loss to the Blue Jays, Francona replied, “He got some treatment and he’s feeling a little bit better. He’ll be re-evaluated over the weekend. That’s kind of where we’re at.” Francona said Beckett, who left the team Tuesday to get examined and returned Wednesday to Toronto, would travel with the team to Tampa.