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08/16/09 2:23 AM ET

Tazawa to make second start in finale

Boston (66-50) at Texas (65-50), 2:05 p.m. ET

ARLINGTON -- Junichi Tazawa has been a professional baseball player in the United States for only four months, but he's already become a starter in a Red Sox rotation looking to make a push into the postseason.

Tazawa, 23, will make his second Major League start on Sunday against the Rangers, a team the Red Sox lead by only a half-game in the American League Wild Card race.

Sunday marks Tazawa's third appearance with the Red Sox since signing a three-year deal in December out of Japan.

"The baseball here isn't that different," Tazawa said through a translator. "But the environment is tough. Every moment is new for me.

"I didn't think the process to the Major Leagues would be this quick, but I wanted to step up myself as soon as possible."

Tazawa allowed a walk-off home run to Alex Rodriguez in his Major League debut, but earned his first Major League start four days later against the Tigers, allowing one earned run over five innings to earn the win.

Only 23, Tazawa is adjusting to professional baseball and improving as a pitcher.

"I'm just trying to be consistent, to locate my pitches as low as possible and not think that much," Tazawa said. "I just want to take a good balance between my pitching well and trying to be aggressive."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Junichi Tazawa (1-1, 4.05 ERA)
Tazawa recorded his first Major League victory on Tuesday against Detroit, retiring the final eight batters he faced to cap five strong innings in which he yielded three runs (one earned). The rookie right-hander, who struck out six Tigers, became the youngest Japanese-born pitcher to win his first career big league start (23 years, 66 days old). Tazawa has never pitched at Rangers Ballpark.

TEX: RHP Dustin Nippert (3-1, 3.62 ERA)
Nippert suffered his first loss of the season on Tuesday. He struck out a career-high 10, but gave up five runs in the third inning on the way to a 5-0 loss. He is now 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts this season and 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four relief appearances. He is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in four games, including one start, at home. His only victory as a starter came on July 22 against the Red Sox, when he held them to one run in 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out five.

Including Saturday, the Red Sox have made seven roster moves in the last 11 days and 10 over the last 16. They have used 46 different players so far, just one shy of their mark (47) from last season. The Red Sox have used 22 pitchers this year, also just one behind the 23 the number they used last season. ... On Friday, the Red Sox authored their 29th comeback win of the season. It was the third time they won after trailing after eight innings. The six runs were the most they scored in the ninth inning of a game since May 13, 2007, against the Orioles. ... J.D. Drew isn't expected to start again until Wednesday due to a sore groin. His home run on Friday was his first in 26 games. ... The Red Sox are 9-9 on Sundays this season.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
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Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 14-4, 3.10) at Blue Jays (Ricky Romero, 10-5, 3.70), 7:07 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Clay Buchholz, 1-3, 4.45) at Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 13-5, 2.65), 7:07 p.m. ET

Daniel Paulling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.