The Red Sox are coming home from a seven-game, eight-day road trip for a three-game set with the Orioles starting Friday, but the weekend will be about so much more than just baseball.
Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, but Friday marks the Red Sox first chance to show their solidarity in front of the hometown fans when Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman meets John Lackey.
"It brought back a lot of emotion, seeing that stuff on TV," said Red Sox catcher David Ross. "I think that will be a part of us for the rest of our lives. I don't think you ever turn the page on something like that. It's nice that we had a good year last year and those are some things we can remember about coming through."
"I think this year in particular it's an honor to be there for that. I really do," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Regardless of the competitive part of it. We are doing the same thing. But with what that game means to the city of Boston and our country, I think we all consider it an honor to be lucky enough to have the schedule fall that day. Think we are all looking forward to paying the respect due there."
Lackey was roughed up in his last start, when he served up a career-high four home runs in a loss to the Yankees. In all, he surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Tillman, on the other hand, has been nothing short of dominant this season. He's allowed no more than one earned run in each of his three starts and lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.84 against the Blue Jays on April 11, though he took the loss as Toronto pushed across a pair of unearned runs in his eight-inning outing.
Showalter gave Tillman an extra day of rest.
"Just thought Tilly could benefit, regardless of who we are facing or where we are down the road," Showalter said of the decision to give Tillman an extra day off. "The thing that's optimum is his health -- and everybody's."
Orioles: Clubhouse disinfected following flu-like bug
The Orioles disinfected the entire locker room after several players dealt with flu-like symptoms, which also prevented the Orioles and Rays from playing a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Starter Bud Norris was available in the bullpen on Wednesday because some players were still feeling the effects of the bug. Norris ultimately was not used, so he's in line to start Saturday. The Orioles kept Miguel Gonzalez on turn following Tuesday's rainout, pushing Tillman to Friday's series opener following Thursday's off-day.
"Remember when you get something new for Christmas? And your parents were always like, 'Let's keep it new and see what it's like three or four years later.' It's kind of where I am with our pitchers," Showalter said of the decision to give Tillman an extra day and not let Gonzalez get too far removed.
Red Sox: Uehara back in the bullpen
For the Red Sox, it is comforting to know that closer Koji Uehara is healthy again after missing close to a week with right shoulder soreness. The righty came back on Thursday night against the White Sox, working around a single to record his third save of the season.
"More than anything, he comes out of tonight physically fine," said manager John Farrell. "That's a confidence lift for him. He sets our bullpen up so well, just to be able to anchor it in that ninth inning like he does."
• Chris Capuano earned his first win in Wednesday's 6-4 extra-inning game, his first since Aug. 13, 2013, at the Cubs while a member of the Dodgers
• Junichi Tazawa made his seventh consecutive scoreless appearance on Thursday
• Adam Jones started at designated hitter Wednesday for just the sixth time in his career and was 2-for-4. He is 7-for-23 with four runs, two doubles, a home run, two RBI, with a walk lifetime as a DH.
• Nick Markakis singled in the first and fifth, his fifth multihit game of the year, and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.