OAKLAND -- Greetings from the East Bay, where the Red Sox, fresh off taking three of four from the Mariners, will be trying to break a six-game losing streak in O.co Coliseum.
This has not been an easy place for the Sox to play. Since the start of the 2009 season, they are 4-13 and have been outscored 93-48 in those games. That includes the 20-2 shellacking here last Aug. 31, better known as Bobby V. Airport Chauffeur Day in Sox annals.
The last time the Sox split a season series here was in 2008, when they won three and lost three. The last time they won a season series here was in 2004, when they won all three meetings.
Boston’s last win here was a 5-3 victory on April 20, 2011, when the Sox pitchers were Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks and Jonathan Papelbon. Only Buchholz remains, and he is now scheduled to throw here on Sunday -- but only a bullpen session, after the Sox elected to scratch a rehab start Sunday in Pawtucket.
The revised plan for Buchholz, who threw 35 pitches here Friday, is Sunday’s bullpen, followed by another bullpen Tuesday in New York, where he will be accompanied to the All-Star Game by trainer Rick Jameyson. The Sox trainer is part of the American League staff. Assuming all goes well, a simulated game will be next on Buchholz’s itinerary, followed by a rehab start.
Manager John Farrell insists Buchholz’s shoulder is healthy, and the additional time required is just a matter of reconditioning, due to the long layoff. Buchholz has made just two starts since May 22, for a total of 11 2/3 innings, and hasn’t pitched since June 8, when he went 6 2/3 innings against the Angels.
But the revised schedule guarantees Buchholz will not be reactivated immediately after the All-Star break, when the Sox resume play at home with a three-game set against the Yankees, followed by a visit from the Tampa Bay Rays. The most optimistic scenario has Buchholz making a start before the end of the month, which is Farrell’s expectation.
“That, to me, is the biggest key for us in the second half," Farrell said, “getting him back to us and taking the necessary steps to rebuild the arm strength."
* Right-hander Brandon Workman has been named to start Sunday’s series finale. He will become the ninth pitcher to start a game for the Sox this season, matching the number of starters the Sox used in all of 2012. Terry Francona used 10 starters in 2011.
The 24-year-old rookie made his big-league debut in relief on Wednesday in Seattle, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits with 4 K’s in 2 innings.
* How’s this for contrast? The Athletics have gone 64 consecutive days without placing a player on the disabled list. They have not placed a player on the DL since April 30, when outfielder Chris Young went on with a strained left quad and came off on May 18.
The Sox, since that date, have placed nine players on the DL, 16 in all.
* Dustin Pedroia is a Hall of Famer. He was selected as a 2013 inductee to the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame.
* Jacoby Ellsbury’s 19-game hitting streak is the longest active streak in the big leagues, and second longest of his career (he hit in 22 games straight in 2009). He had another 19-game streak in 2011. During his streak, he is batting .413 (33 for 80) with 7 doubles, 2 home runs, 11 RBIs, and 16 runs.
* Something’s gotta give: A’s starting pitchers have allowed three runs or fewer in their last eight games, and the staff has an ERA of 2.97 over the last 14 games, bringing their league-leading ERA to 3.68.
The Sox, meanwhile, have scored 34 runs in their last four games, and lead the majors with 492 runs, an average of 5.23 a game.