Boston needed a sweep in New York this past weekend to have a realistic shot at making things interesting heading into the final week of the regular season. However, the Red Sox fell short of that goal on Sunday when Hideki Okajima walked Juan Miranda with the bases loaded in the 10th inning to lift the Yankees to a 4-3 win.
The Red Sox went ahead with a two-run ninth, but it was all for naught, as Jonathan Papelbon suffered his eighth blown save this season.
Boston will be eliminated from postseason play with either a loss or a win by the Yankees, who head to Fenway next weekend for a three-game set.
Getting the call for the Red Sox this evening will be right-hander Clay Buchholz, who is 16-7 with a 2.39 ERA. Buchholz did not get a decision on Tuesday against Baltimore, but pitched well, surrendering one unearned run in six innings of a 9-1 loss.
Buchholz, though, is 0-2 in three starts against the White Sox and has pitched to a 9.95 ERA in those outings.
The 26-year-old hurler will be facing a Chicago team tonight that has won four in a row after its weekend sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. On Sunday, Omar Vizquel singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, carrying the White Sox to a 4-3 win.
Juan Pierre went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the White Sox, who have won seven straight over the Angels. It's their longest streak against the Halos since a 10-game run from June 15, 1983-June 4, 1984.
Tony Pena (5-2), making his second career start, allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings to get the win.
Tonight, Chicago will hand the ball to lefty Mark Buehrle, who is 0-3 in his last six starts. Buehrle was roughed up by the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, as he allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings, dropping him to 12-12 on the year to go along with a 4.27 ERA.
Buehrle did not get a decision the last time he faced the Red Sox and is 6-5 lifetime against them with a 4.48 ERA in 15 games, 14 of which have been starts.
Chicago swept a three-game set from the Red Sox from Sept. 4-5.