**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles welcome the Boston Red Sox to town for a three-game set**
BALTIMORE — For those anticipating Kevin Gregg-David Ortiz II with the Boston Red Sox rolling into town for a three-game series, they’ll have to wait.
Their suspensions were reduced to three games this afternoon, and both will begin their sentences tonight as the Orioles (38-54) hope to make it three wins in a row and extract some revenge after the Red Sox embarrassed them in a four-game sweep at Fenway Park prior to the All-Star break.
Gregg agreed to drop his appeal of a four-game suspension after Major League Baseball offered a three-game penalty starting Monday in Baltimore. The respective fines of Gregg and Ortiz were also reduced.
“It’s principle, I want to fight for principle,” Gregg said. “But at this point, in regards to the team, I’m trying to take the best interest of the team right now, using what MLB has presented.”
With Gregg serving his suspension against the Red Sox, manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles could go with a few different candidates to potentially to close, presumably Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, or the volatile Michael Gonzalez. Uehara, however, pitched in each of the final three games of the Cleveland series, making him unlikely to pitch in the opener against the Red Sox.
Gonzalez has not heard an update regarding his three-game suspension, but the lefty hopes to receive a reduction in the line of Gregg’s being reduced from four to three. He doesn’t expected there to be any further repercussions or bad blood over the three-game series against the Red Sox.
“It’s water under the bridge already,” Gonzalez said. “What was done was done. We’re over it, we’re starting a clean slate today, and we’ll go from there.”
The Orioles officially made an array of roster moves earlier in the day, placing Alfredo Simon on the restricted list as he deals with his legal matters in the Dominican. The club has recalled third baseman Josh Bell and selected the contract of reliever Mark Worrell from Triple-A Norfolk. Worrell will likely exit when Simon returns as early as Tuesday.
Bell is no stranger to Baltimore after playing 53 games for the Orioles last season. He was hitting .254 with 16 home runs and 47 runs batted in for the Tides prior to being recalled. However, the big third baseman also had 100 strikeouts in 343 at-bats.
Luke Scott will make his second start for Double-A Bowie on Monday night as they Baysox travel to Harrisburg. Scott homered in last night’s game and could be activated as soon as Tuesday when he is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list. Bell or recently-promoted outfield Matt Angle would be the likely candidates to return to the minors in that scenario.
The Orioles will send Brad Bergesen to the hill against veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. It’s Bergesen’s first start in the big leagues since May 28 in what amounts to a golden opportunity for the 25-year-old sinkerballer to reclaim his spot in the starting rotation.
In seven career starts against the Red Sox, Bergesen is 2-3 with a 3.27 earned run average in 44 innings. He has the only complete-game shutout for the Orioles this season when he shut down the Tampa Bay Rays in a 6-0 win on May 14.
The Orioles hope to put aside the nightmarish four-game series in Boston and keep the focus to what’s happening on the field — only this time with a better outcome.
“How you stand up to them is you play (better), you win,” Showalter said. “They’re good, they’re real good. … It’s not something they handicap beforehand. Nobody really cares.”
To hear more from Showalter, Gregg, and Gonzalez, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
DH Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Kevin Youkilis
CF Josh Reddick
LF Carl Crawford
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
RF J.D. Drew
SS Marco Scutaro
SP Tim Wakefield (5-3, 4.74 ERA)
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
DH Nolan Reimold
LF Felix Pie
2B Robert Andino
SP Brad Bergesen (1-6, 5.65 ERA)
As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!