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Daily Sports Roundup: August 15

Daily Sports Roundup: August 15

The Boston Red Sox will debut the newest member of their starting rotation when they play host to the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night. Here’s your Daily Sports Roundup . . .

Event of the day . . .

An injury to Tim Wakefield left a hole in Boston’s rotation – and they’re hoping that Paul Byrd can plug it through the end of the season. The righthander was picked up from the Indians in a deal on Tuesday afternoon, and he’s going to take Clay Buchholz’s start at Fenway Park on Friday. Buchholz, though, will probably remain in the rotation, since the team’s Charlie Zink experiment didn’t turn out well in that slugfest on Tuesday night.

Byrd (7-10, 4.53 ERA) had earned the victory in each of his last four starts as a member of the Indians, giving up just four earned runs over 29 innings of work in that span. As well, Byrd’s last outing actually came against Toronto on August 9, and he surrendered only two earned runs on six hits over a full nine innings in that game. Byrd hasn’t given up a home run since July 4 in a loss to the Twins.

Toronto will be sending ace Roy Halladay (13-9, 2.72 ERA) to the mound to counter Byrd on Friday night. Halladay was actually the loser in the Blue Jays’ August 9 matchup against Byrd and the Indians, as he gave up four runs (one earned) on 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings. The righthander is just 2-3 over his last five trips to the mound, but he’s held opponents to two or fewer earned runs in seven of his last 10 starts.

Non-event of the day . . .

The Rockies and Nationals are two of the worst teams in the National League, and they’ll begin a weekend series in Washington on Friday night. The Nationals are expected to send Tim Redding (8-7, 4.61 ERA) to the mound in that contest. Colorado will counter with Jorge De La Rosa (5-6, 6.28 ERA), who gets another crack at a starting gig only because Aaron Cook’s sore back forced him to miss Thursday’s game.

Also on the schedule . . .

It’s Carlos Zambrano (12-5, 3.22 ERA) vs. Josh Johnson (3-0, 3.19 ERA) in the Cubs/Marlins matchup in Miami on Friday. Elsewhere on the National League Friday schedule it’s the Mets at Pittsburgh, St. Louis at Cincinnati, San Francisco at Atlanta, Arizona at Houston, Philadelphia at San Diego, and Milwaukee at the Dodgers.

The Yankees will play host to the lowly Royals this weekend, with Andy Pettitte (12-9, 4.32 ERA) taking on Gil Meche (10-9, 4.24 ERA) on Friday. Other American League games on tap: the Angels at Cleveland, Baltimore at Detroit, Tampa Bay at Texas, Seattle at Minnesota, and the White Sox at Oakland.

As well, there’s one NFL preseason game on the Friday schedule, with Oakland in Tennessee to face the Titans at 8:00pm ET. The Titans have been listed as 5-point home favorites in that contest, with the total at 35 points. In other Friday pigskin action it’s Montreal at Toronto in the Canadian Football League, with the Alouettes sitting as 3-point road favorites (and the total pegged at 53.5 points).

News from the wire . . .

The Tigers signed unemployed starting pitcher Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract . . . the Cubs might give Jeff Samardzija his first MLB start on Sunday . . . the Falcons have liked what they’ve seen so far from rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, and might be close to naming him their starter . . . Rams running back Steven Jackson is still holding out for a new contract and accumulating plenty of team fines.

Peek at the future . . .

Saturday features the bulk of this week’s preseason NFL schedule, 10 games including Washington at Brett Favre’s Jets, Indianapolis at Atlanta, Dallas at Denver, and Green Bay at San Francisco . . . John Lackey (9-2, 3.15 ERA) takes on Fausto Carmona (5-4, 4.91 ERA) in the Angels/Indians game on Saturday afternoon . . . it’s Spain vs. the United States in men’s hoops action in China on Saturday at 10:00am ET, and Greece vs. the United States at 8:00am ET on Monday.

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