David Wells expects to be back in the rotation very soon. He tossed 46 pitches on Wednesday and will throw a simulated game in Seattle this afternoon. Wells is tentatively penciled in for a May 18 start. ... Bronson Arroyo will probably serve his six-game suspension after his start in Oakland next Monday. Because Boston has off-days Thursday and the following Monday, skipping Arroyo for one start shouldn't be a problem.
Since Schilling and Wells have been out, the Red Sox are 10-3 with a team ERA of 3.38 and an opponents' batting average of only .228. In those 13 games, the starters have averaged 6.1 innings and are 8-1, 3.07. Overall this season, the trio of Arroyo, Matt Clement and Tim Wakefield is 12-1, 3.05, with 18 quality outings in 22 starts. Five of the six losses recorded by Sox starters so far this season are by Schilling and Wells.0513 at Seattle Gonzalez Pineiro
0514 at Seattle Miller Franklin
0515 at Seattle Wakefield Meche
0516 at Oakland Arroyo Saarloos
0517 at Oakland Clement Zito?
0518 at Oakland Wells? Harden?
0520 Atlanta Miller
0521 Atlanta Wakefield
0522 Atlanta Clement
0524 at Toronto Wells
0525 at Toronto Miller
0526 at Toronto Wakefield
0527 at Yankees Arroyo
0528 at Yankees Clement
0529 at Yankees Wells
In the pen, Mike Timlin (1.08) hasn't allowed a run in his last 11 relief appearances, Matt Mantei has held right-handed hitters to a .107 average (3-for-28) and has allowed two earned runs in his last 14 appearances and lefties are hitting only .083 (1-for-12) off Mike Myers.
More numbers: Boston leads the American League in runs (189) and on-base percentage (.361); they are second in slugging (.444) and third in batting average (.277). ... Damon leads the league at .383 and is hitting .468 over his 17-game hitting streak. ... Trot Nixon has walked 20 times in 29 games and his .420 OBP is only a hair behind Damon (.421). Jason Varitek is third on the team at .396. ... Mark Bellhorn has more strikeouts (38) than hits (21) and walks (15). ... The Red Sox are still perfect (8-for-8) in stolen bases: Damon 4, Edgar Renteria 2, Manny Ramirez 1 and Bellhorn 1.
Manny has eight home runs and leads the team with 29 RBI, but his low batting average is causing some writers to worry. He's batting only .241 this season (and .143 (4-for-28) in May), which you could chalk up to a small sample size, but he's also batting just .257 (94-for-366) since last year's All-Star break). He has been invisible (6-for-38, .158) against lefties this season. At BDD, Peter Gammons says Ramirez seems "as distracted as any time I can ever remember him. ... He just doesn't seem to be into the games at all."
Boston has won two games on walkoff home runs on consecutive days only one other time -- July 21 and 22, 1935 -- when pitcher/pinch hitter Wes Ferrell hit them both. This week's walkoff wins were only the sixth time a major league team has hit game-winning home runs in two straight games off the same pitcher. ... Since the A's took a 2-0 lead over Boston in the 2003 ALDS, they've gone 1-14 against the Sox. ... Orlando Cabrera got his World Series ring in Anaheim last Sunday.
Two Cubs Blogs: The Cubdom and Goat Riders of the Apocalypse.
Tonight: Jeremi Gonzalez (4.22 ERA) / Joel Pineiro (5.66), 10 pm
Saturday: Wade Miller (3.60) / Ryan Franklin (4.50), 10 pm
Sunday: Tim Wakefield (3.18) / Gil Meche (5.14), 4 pm