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Pedro could get nod in Game 5

BOSTON -- The greaseboard on the Boston Red Sox's clubhouse door carried an inspirational message Friday night -- apparently written by a player who refrains from listening to the discouraging words of local talk radio.

"We Can Change History!'' the message read. "Believe It!''

The Red Sox, trailing 2-0 in their best-of-seven American League Championship Series with the New York Yankees, will be back Saturday with their optimism, their home-field advantage, and both of their exclamation points.

With a hard rain falling and a discouraging forecast for the rest of the evening, Commissioner Bud Selig postponed Friday's Game 3 of the ALCS. New York and Boston will play the third game Saturday night, with Kevin Brown starting for the Yankees against Boston's Bronson Arroyo.

The teams will play Game 4 on Sunday, with Orlando Hernandez likely to start for New York against Tim Wakefield.

Game 5 will now be made up on Monday -- at 5:10 p.m. ET if the National League Championship Series between St. Louis and Houston is still going, or in prime time if the Cardinals clinch the NL pennant by then.

Mike Mussina will start Game 5 for the Yankees, while the Red Sox's scheduled starter remains Derek Lowe -- although manager Terry Francona reserved the right to change his mind and pitch Pedro Martinez on his regular rest. If Lowe goes Monday, Martinez will start Tuesday in Game 6 on an extra day's rest.

For non-Doppler fanatics, the only real newsworthy development from Friday revolved around the status of Red Sox starter Curt Schilling, who had essentially been written off for the rest of the series because of an ankle injury.

Schilling, who lasted only three innings in New York's 10-7 victory in Game 1, worked out with a high-topped shoe for added support. He threw about 40 pitches from the bullpen mound and played long-toss in the outfield.

Although Schilling was still walking with a slight limp following his session, Francona said the team had some reason for optimism.

"He did well enough that we're just leaving the door open for his season not to be over,'' Francona said.

"This was a first step, and the next step is to see how he shows up tomorrow. The door hasn't been closed. That's where we're at.''

Sandy Alderson, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, said Selig decided to call the game after baseball consulted with both teams, the umpiring crew, the groundskeepers and the broadcasting entities airing the game.

Alderson said the forecast called for heavy rains beginning at 9-9:30 p.m., and that the playing surface at Fenway Park doesn't drain as well as the one at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where the Cardinals and Astros played through a steady rain on Thursday.

"Obviously, in the postseason, when we start a game, we want to be able to go nine innings and finish a complete game and not get into abbreviated games and so forth,'' Alderson said. "So we really had no window whatsoever.''

Francona expressed confidence that Arroyo will suffer no ill effects from being bumped back a day because of the weather. Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said the same for Brown -- although he conceded that Brown was emotionally ready to go Friday.

"I think he was more antsy than anyone else in our clubhouse,'' Stottlemyre said. "He went back and forth, and was very anxious to pitch tonight because he's very prepared. But I don't really think it will have any effect on him at all.''

After Mussina and Jon Lieber shut down the Boston offense in Games 1 and 2, the Red Sox are hoping for an emotional pick-me-up from their return to Fenway Park. Boston went 55-26 at home this season, and hit .304 with 517 runs scored at Fenway this season compared with a .260 team batting average and 432 runs on the road.

Jerry Crasnick is a regular contributor to ESPN Insider. He can be reached via e-mail.