Besides being a storied franchise, the Red Sox travel to Phoenix for the first time ever, with the best record in the Major Leagues in tow. The D-backs are not far behind that distinction in the National League, standing a game behind the Padres and a half game behind the Mets after winning 10 of 12 games.
"We're in a difficult so-called part of the schedule, yet I think one of the ways we're getting around it is we're not focusing too much on the long-term part of the schedule, we're just going day to day," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's arguably the best team in baseball coming in here, and it's not like we don't know that coming in, so we're getting three pretty good pitchers on top of it, and a team that's played well and consistent all year long."
Hudson shared a simple piece of advice with his younger teammates, many of whom have never played a storied AL franchise like the Red Sox.: enjoy the weekend because it's fun.
"It"s always a packed house," Hudson said. "No matter where you're at they carry the crowd. The next three games will be huge, huge for the guys who never experienced it, all the youngsters."
One of those youngsters is center fielder Chris Young, who enters the weekend having hit game-winning home runs in the two wins against San Francisco and barely missing a third game-winner Thursday night.
"Me being a young guy I've never played against Boston, so I think it's real cool," Young said. "I'll be the same when I play against the Yankees, but that's something I'll think about (Thursday) and (Friday) morning when I get up, but when I get out there on the field it's just another ballgame, and we have to go out there and execute."
Scott Hairston expects the series to have a playoff atmosphere to it, and he believes the D-backs will be competitive because of the good baseball his squad has recently played.
"They can beat you in several different ways, so you want to play well against the better teams," Melvin said, "yet the way we're playing right now we'll take it and not look too much into it."
In any case, things should be interesting for the D-backs this weekend when baseball's best invade the desert.
"It's going to be a great series the next three days," Hudson said. "It's going to be definitely a great weekend. It's going to be a hard-fought long battle."
ARI: LHP Doug Davis (4-6, 3.05 ERA)
Davis enters the start hot with a pair of wins on last week's road trip. He beat the Mets by allowing one run on six hits over 7 2/3 innings Sunday after getting the win at Philadelphia May 28 by giving up a similar stat line of one run on seven hits over eight innings. Davis is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA in his career against the Red Sox.
BOS: RHP Josh Beckett (8-0, 2.95 ERA)
Beckett gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings In his last outing Sunday against the Yankees. He will take the mound for the third time since coming off the Disabled List with a torn flap of skin on the middle finger of his throwing hand, which caused him to miss two starts. Beckett has never beaten Arizona in his career. He owns an 0-3 record against the D-backs with a 6.97 ERA in four starts while pitching for Florida.
Player to watch
Mark Reynolds may need to return to his hot May form to earn regular playing time when Chad Tracy returns as early as Saturday. Reynolds has hit .125 with no home runs or RBIs in six June games after hitting .426 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 15 May games.
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Saturday: Diamondbacks (Micah Owings, 4-1, 3.86) vs. Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 3-4, 5.33), 6:40 p.m. MT
Sunday: Diamondbacks (Randy Johnson, 3-2, 3.78) vs. Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 7-4, 4.63), 1:40 p.m. MT