Strong ALDS outing earns Schilling the Game 2 start

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 10, 2007

BOSTON - Curt Schilling earned a promotion.

The Red Sox said Tuesday that Schilling moved up to the No.2 spot in their rotation for the AL Championship Series against Cleveland, which starts Friday with aces Josh Beckett and C.C. Sabathia matching up.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Japanese rookie whose late-season struggles continued in the division series, was dropped to the third spot by the Sox.

Manager Terry Francona said the change was more a matter of Schilling's impressive showing in the division series-clinching win Sunday than Matsuzaka's decline.

"We tried to accomplish some things with Schill by giving him rest, which I think really helped. That was probably the biggest thing," Francona said. "Daisuke's days are going to be a little bit mixed up anyway, so it's almost like skipping a turn. It will give him some time."

Also, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield looks as if he will be available to start Game 4 after missing the division series with soreness in his shoulder. Wakefield threw 77 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday and said: "Good enough."

STRONG-ARMED INDIANS: The Indians are expected to start with the same rotation they used in the division series win over the Yankees, with Sabathia followed by Fausto Carmona, Jake Westbrook and Paul Byrd.

"We have the talent to beat the Red Sox as long as we prepare and play well," GM Mark Shapiro said in Cleveland.

CASHING OUT: The Sox are planning to carry 11 pitchers with Wakefield back on the roster, which likely means they'll drop third catcher Kevin Cash, the Tampa native and ex-Ray.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.