Red Sox Notebook

John Lackey will have a shot to even his record

John Lackey (10-12) will get two more starts this season.
John Lackey (10-12) will get two more starts this season.

Red Sox manager John Farrell set up his starting rotation for the final week of the season with an emphasis on John Lackey.

Lackey (10-12) will get two starts during that time, which will give him a shot at finishing .500 for the season — a reward for enduring a lack of run support the entire season.

Farrell said Lackey will pitch Tuesday in Colorado, with Jake Peavy facing the Rockies Wednesday. Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, and Lackey will pitch in that order Friday through Sunday in Baltimore.


With a likely four-day layoff between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs Friday, Oct. 4, the starters will have plenty of rest.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

It certainly lines up for Lester to pitch Game 1 of the playoffs, with either Lackey or Buchholz in Game 2.

It appears Peavy will be the fourth starter, after Lackey, with Ryan Dempster likely to be one of seven relievers on the playoff roster.

The Red Sox will go with Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, Brandon Workman, and Dempster as their main relievers.

The final spots should be up for grabs between Franklin Morales, Matt Thornton, Drake Britton, and Rubby De La Rosa.

Ellsbury target


Farrell said that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out with a right foot fracture, could return to the lineup in Denver.

“Hopefully he’s in the lineup Wednesday,” Farrell said before Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

“The work he’s going through right now, the baseball activities, are starting to wrap up. There’s been no setbacks. That’s an optimistic view, but I’d hope we’d be able to get him some at-bats that day.”

Ellsbury has continued baseball activities this weekend. He was on the field playing catch with bullpen catcher Brian Abraham before the game.

Before the foot fracture, Ellsbury was hitting .320 in his last 17 games.


Farrell said he is looking for Ellsbury to show “further comfort with the increase and intensity of work he’s been going through.”

Napoli resting

Mike Napoli, who has been battling plantar fasciitis since August, likely will get more down time in Colorado. “We’re just giving him a couple of days down,” Farrell said. “He’s been dealing with that foot issue, and we felt like this was the time to give him a few days to get ahead of it.” . . . It’ll be interesting to see whether David Ortiz plays any first base in Colorado. Farrell has hedged on that. There’s the thought about giving Ortiz a couple of days off, but Boston is still vying for the best record in the American League, which would give it home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Ortiz is also going for yet another 30-homer, 100 RBI season. He’s one homer and two RBIs short of that after homering Sunday in the sixth inning. It was his 49th homer vs. the Blue Jays and his 150th career RBI against them.

Support system

There was a sold-out crowd of 37,020 for the home finale. The Sox drew more than 2.8 million fans, down from slightly more than 3 million in 2012. They were down about 2,499 fans per game from last season, not bad considering that 69-win campaign . . . Rookies took part in the annual dress-up day. They donned red Scottish kilts and hats. After putting on the outfits — the players were bare-chested, and when Steven Wright put on a white undershirt he was ordered to take it off — the rookies joined veterans on the field for the “Picnic in the Park” event. There was a bagpiper on hand to complete the theme . . . The Strike 3 Foundation, founded in 2008 by Breslow, announced the start of “Play It Forward.” The program is designed to help channel the passion of young fans and encourage them to be effective social entrepreneurs. “We are incredibly excited to roll out this community initiative,” Breslow said in a release. “We are able to broaden the impact of our organization, and most importantly encourage our children to become active participants in improving the lives of others battling cancer. Play It Forward teaches us all that we can begin today to help improve our communities.” For information, visit or e-mail

Nick Cafardo can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo. Globe correspondent Anthony Gulizia contributed to this report.