The Red Sox are currently 17-11, with the Yankees and Rays both with one less loss apiece for best record in the month of May.
With the Red Sox off on Memorial Day, this is their chance to cap off a disappointing April with a strong May.
Lester, one of the best pitchers in the game in the month, will face a Kansas City Royals team that missed a chance at a rare four-game sweep by losing 1-0 on Saturday night to Clay Buchholz. They'll send journeyman Bruce Chen to the mound against Lester, a mismatch on paper. It will be on Lester and the rest of the team to make sure that mismatch shows up on the field.
RHP Bruce Chen (1-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (5-2, 3.15 ERA)
Jon Lester hopes to continue his dominance in May and give the Red Sox a series split against the Royals.
Lester started the season with a 4.71 ERA in April before turning the heat on and going 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA in May. In his sixth start, he will face a team that he has a career 1.20 ERA against in four starts.
Opposing him will be a fellow left-hander in Bruce Chen, who had a cup of coffee in a Red Sox uniform in 2003. He has bounced around throughout multiple organizations but has found a home the last two years in Kansas City.
Chen was recently called up from the minor leagues to help a beleaguered bullpen, but will move into the rotation after Gil Meche hit the disabled list on Saturday. Against the Red Sox, he has a career 4.84 ERA in 44 2/3 innings and last saw them July 12, 2009 when he lasted three innings in a start. He gave up six hits, three walks and three runs in a losing effort.
|Willie Bloomquist, LF
David DeJesus, RF
Billy Butler, 1B
Jose Guillen, DH
Brayan Pena, C
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Mitch Maier, CF
|Marco Scutaro, SS
Darnell McDonald, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Bill Hall, 2B
Mike Cameron, CF
It's hard to imagine the Red Sox can lose a matchup with Jon Lester on the mound against Bruce Chen, but the Royals will certainly try. If the Royals can squeak out a win and a 3-1 series victory on the road, it will be a huge boost to the team. The Red Sox, for their part, will look to go into Memorial Day's day off having nipped a possible stumbling block in the bud. They'll then host the Oakland Athletics before heading out on the road for seven games.