Ryan Dempster will make his 29th start of the season Tuesday night as the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
Will it be one of his last?
The Red Sox skipped lefthander Felix Doubront’s last turn through the rotation but have said he will pitch this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays. That will give the Red Sox six starters, one more than needed.
Dempster is 8-9 with a 4.70 earned run average. The righthander has a 5.66 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP in 11 starts since July 6.
With Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, and Clay Buchholz locks for a postseason rotation, Dempster may be competing with Doubront for a spot on the postseason roster.
“I’m preparing like I normally prepare,” Dempster said last week. “Nothing has changed.”
Dempster had an 11-day break between starts in August, five of the days coming as a result of a suspension for throwing at Alex Rodriguez. In three starts since he has shown improvement, allowing eight earned runs on 15 hits over 17⅓ innings.
Because Dempster has 225 games of relief experience, he would be a candidate for a bullpen role in the postseason. He has averaged 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
Doubront (10-6, 4.15) has pitched in relief 21 times in his career, once this season.
Sox manager John Farrell said on WEEI Monday that Lackey, Lester, and Buchholz would start the final three games of the regular season in Baltimore Sept. 27-29.
It is likely the Red Sox then will have four days off before starting their Division Series. That would line up any of the trio to start Game 1.
The Red Sox nominated lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for community service. The award will be presented during the World Series.
Fans can vote for the candidates on MLB.com starting Tuesday. The fan vote will be counted along with the choices made by a panel that includes commissioner Bud Selig and Clemente’s widow, Vera.
Red Sox players Tim Wakefield (2010) and David Ortiz (2011) are recent winners of the award.
Breslow founded the Strike 3 Foundation in 2008 to heighten awareness, mobilize support, and raise funds for childhood cancer research. The foundation has raised more than $1.3 million.
“Incredibly honored and humbled to be nominated by the Red Sox organization for the [award] from a team of deserving candidates,” Breslow posted on Twitter.
Dustin Pedroia is 8 for 26 (.308) and has scored six runs in six games as a leadoff hitter since Jacoby Ellsbury went down with a fracture in his right foot. On WEEI, Farrell offered few details about the status of Ellsbury other than to say he was doing exercises . . . The Red Sox, who are already carrying 33 players, will add a few more from Triple A Pawtucket before Tuesday night’s game . . . The Sox are 11-3 in September, already their most wins in that month since 2010 (13-14).
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.