Veteran righty Ryan Dempster makes a fifth attempt for a first win in a Boston uniform on Friday night when the Red Sox host the Houston Astros in the second test of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
A 124-game winner in his big-league career - along with 87 saves - Dempster won 12 times while splitting 2012 between the Chicago Cubs (5-5) and the Texas Rangers (7-3).
He joined the Red Sox in the offseason after signing a two-year deal worth $26.5 million on Dec. 19.
Dempster's made four starts with the Red Sox and has given up 16 hits and 11 runs in 24 innings against the New York Yankees, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Kansas City.
He's 6-12 in 51 career meetings with the Astros with 16 saves and a 4.32 earned run average.
Dempster will be opposed by lefty Erik Bedard, who's also seeking a first win in his fifth appearance with a new team.
The 34-year-old was 1-2 in eight starts with the Red Sox in 2011 then 7-14 in 24 games with Pittsburgh last season.
He was released by the Pirates in August and signed with Houston in January, inking a one-year deal with $1.15 million.
Bedard pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief to earn a save in his Houston debut against Texas on March 31, but has since gone 0-1 in starts against Seattle, Oakland and Cleveland.
He's 5-4 in 13 career meetings with Boston and 3-4 in 11 career starts at Fenway.
On Thursday, David Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Red Sox defeated Houston, 7-2.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two runs, while Mike Carp, Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia had an RBI apiece for the Red Sox.
Starter Clay Buchholz (5-0) had 10 strikeouts and allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings.
Astros starter Philip Humber (0-5) was battered, giving up seven runs on 10 hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. Humber was coming off allowing eight runs in just one-third of an inning against the Indians on Saturday.
The Red Sox swept a three-game series in Houston when the teams last met in 2007.