Series: Game 1 of 3

Series starts Fri 9/3

Game 1: Friday, September 3
Chi White SoxPostponed
Game 1: Saturday, September 4
Chi White Sox3Final
Game 2: Saturday, September 4
Chi White Sox3Final
Game 3: Sunday, September 5
Chi White Sox7Final

7:10 PM ET, September 3, 2010

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

White Sox-Red Sox Preview


Manny Ramirez may have a new haircut in time for a matchup with some old friends in his second game with the Chicago White Sox.

Just a few days after returning to the AL, Ramirez will find himself at Fenway Park on Friday night for another intriguing reunion with the Boston Red Sox.

The White Sox hope the distractions -- and major league ERA leader Clay Buchholz -- won't prevent them from a fourth consecutive victory.

Ramirez helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and 2007, but went through a messy breakup with the team in 2008. He got a mixed reaction from Boston's fans June 18-20 while returning for the first time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The enigmatic veteran did not speak to reporters while going 5 for 12 with a home run in that series, but he held a press conference in Spanish after joining Chicago off waivers Tuesday.

"In Boston, the first time I went back ... I got a lot of applause," Ramirez said through interpreter Joey Cora, Chicago's bench coach. "Teammates went up to me and said 'Hi.' I don't expect anything different."

Ramirez has said he may cut his dreadlocks Friday to comply with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's policy, which requires short hair.

The White Sox (73-60) hope his play will earn more attention and help them catch AL Central-leading Minnesota. The 38-year-old DH made his debut Wednesday, going 1 for 3 with a single.

"A lot of people expect Manny to come in here and be the savior," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have 20 or 30 guys out there pulling the same rope. Manny does not have to carry this ballclub. I hope he does. Everybody does. He's going to make our lineup better. He'll make people better around him. Our hope is to keep him healthy, play him as much as we can, and just have some fun."

The White Sox enjoyed Cleveland this week, sweeping a three-game set to begin a 10-game road trip. Chicago hasn't won four straight since a five-game winning streak July 26-30.

The Red Sox (76-58) have a better record, but face a steeper climb in order to reach the postseason, trailing first-place New York by eight games in the AL East and wild card-leading Tampa Bay by 6 1/2.

Boston scored 15 runs while winning its last two at Baltimore this week.

"We got some momentum going and hopefully we can take it home, get on a big roll," reliever Scott Atchison said. "You never know what can happen from there."

Having Buchholz (15-5, 2.21 ERA) on the mound seems likely to help. The right-hander looks like a prime Cy Young candidate after going 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA in his last seven starts.

Buchholz has allowed one earned run over 28 1/3 innings in his last four outings, but that came on a game-tying solo home run Saturday by Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton. The blast cost Buchholz a victory, and the Red Sox lost 3-2 in 10 innings.

He has struggled in two previous starts against the White Sox, going 0-1 with a 14.09 ERA.

Chicago's John Danks (12-9, 3.65) hopes to improve on a 1-4 record and 5.08 ERA against Boston and bounce back from a difficult outing Saturday against the Yankees.

The left-hander matched a career high by giving up eight runs, four walks and six hits -- including three homers -- in 4 1/3 innings of a 12-9 loss.

This will be the first meeting between these teams in 2010, making it the last AL season series to begin for both clubs. They split eight games last year.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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