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COL@WSH: Oswalt strikes out 11 over five innings

Roy Oswalt's first appearance at Fenway Park -- three hits, one homer, a walk and four earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings of relief while pitching last season for the Rangers -- didn't go as planned, but Wednesday, the right-hander will have an opportunity to make up for it as a starter.

Oswalt, who signed with Colorado on May 3, will take the mound for his second start of the season on Wednesday against the Red Sox. The 35-year-old veteran fanned 11 in his first start, but surrendered four runs on nine hits in a loss to the Nationals.

"I felt pretty well, but I've got to work on command with my offspeed pitches a little more," Oswalt said Friday after his first start. "Being a little excited probably made the changeup a little worse than it should be."

John Lackey will oppose Oswalt, and the Red Sox starter has tossed six quality starts in his last seven outings.

Lackey appears to have overcome last season's Tommy John surgery to earn a 3.03 ERA through 12 starts this season. Lackey has allowed 24 earned runs on 69 hits and 17 walks in 71.1 innings.

"I feel pretty good, I threw the ball pretty good," Lackey said after his last start, a 4-3 loss in which he allowed two runs over seven innings. "I was able to locate some offspeed stuff and the fastball for the most part. I've been feeling pretty good for a while now. I'm just trying to pound the zone and throw strikes and try to get ground balls and get us as deep in the game as I can."

Lackey is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies and will be looking to even his record at five wins and five losses Wednesday.

Rockies: Rookie Dickerson fills in at DH
Corey Dickerson announced his presence with two doubles in four at-bats in his big league debut Friday, leading to manager Walt Weiss' decision to plug the rookie into the lineup as the designated hitter on Tuesday.

"He's swung the bat well all year and swung the bat well the other day for us," said Weiss. "We just wanted to get him back in there and get him four or five at-bats."

Dickerson went 1-for-3 with a walk and one strikeout as the DH on Tuesday.

"You know there are only so many people that can be in the big leagues," Dickerson. "And when the opportunity comes you just have to do the best you can with that opportunity."

Red Sox: Middlebrooks optioned to Triple-A, Iglesias starts at third
The Red Sox optioned third baseman Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, and Jose Iglesias is now the everyday starter at third.

Middlebrooks is hitting just .192 this season with nine homers and 25 RBIs, and manager John Farrell said the decision was made with the goal of getting him consistent at-bats in Pawtucket.

"He's an important part of us today as much as he is going forward," Farrell said. "And for him to get back on track to make an impact with us he needs everyday at-bats."

Iglesias has been red hot for Boston this season, batting .426 in 33 games.

Worth noting
• With a 2-for-5 performance Tuesday, Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to a Major League-best 22 games. Cuddyer has reached base safely in 41 straight, the longest stretch in the Majors this year and longest in Rockies history for a single season.

• Red Sox catcher David Ross was placed on the 60-day disabled list Tuesday as he deals with his second concussion of the season. Ross is scheduled to meet with a specialist July 9 and will not be around the team on a regular basis until then. Comments