Losers of four of their last six games, the Sox will attempt to put an end to their woes in Minnesota in the second game ever at the Twins’ new open-air stadium.
Minnesota used a strong start by Carl Pavano and a 3-for-5 effort from Joe Mauer to post a 5-2 victory over Boston on Monday. Jon Lester was touched for four runs in five innings for the second straight start.
John Lackey was able to pick up Lester when he followed him last week. The new Sox right-hander will have a chance to do so again when he toes the slab opposite Kevin Slowey.
WHEN AND WHERE
Red Sox (3-4) vs. Twins (6-2)
Wednesday, April 14, 1 p.m. (NESN)
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn.
HEAD TO HEAD
After losing the first of five meetings in 2010, the Red Sox are 10-20 in the city of Minneapolis since 2001.
RHP John Lackey (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (1-0, 1.69 ERA)
Much was made of the almost effortless spring training had by Lackey, and he was just as fluid in his Red Sox debut last Wednesday against the New York Yankees.
In six scoreless innings, Lackey yielded just three hits and left with a 1-0 lead before the bullpen coughed it up.
He is 6-5 with a 3.75 ERA lifetime against the Twins.
Slowey got the win in his season debut on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He allowed a run on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old handed Boston its final loss in the Metrodome last May.
|Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
JD Drew, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
Jeremy Hermida, LF
|Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 2B
- David Ortiz entered Tuesday’s action leading the American League with 11 strikeouts.
- Boston was tied for the AL lead with 19 doubles entering Tuesday’s action.
- Catcher Victor Martinez has hit into four double plays. The rest of the Red Sox have combined to do so three times.
- Reigning AL MVP Joe Mauer is 11-for-26 (.423).
- Minnesota’s bullpen has struck out 14 and walked one in eight games.
- Jim Thome is 0-for-18 with seven strikeouts in his career against Lackey.
BLACK AND BLUE
- Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is still listed as day-to-day with a bruised rib. He said on Monday that there was a chance he could return Wednesday.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday at Buffalo. He is on the disabled list with a neck strain.
- Boof Bonser, on the disabled list with a groin injury, was torched for nine runs in just two innings in his second rehab start on Tuesday for Pawtucket. On a 90-pitch count, Bonser threw only 50 before being removed.
- Right-hander Clay Condrey was placed on the disabled list earlier this month with a right elbow flexor strain. He is scheduled to be shut down for 10 to 14 days.
- Catcher Jose Morales is set to begin extended spring training this week. He is out following right wrist surgery.
The Sox have not won a series in Minnesota since 2000. They will have to take this one to have any chance to put an end to that slide, and in Lackey they have a great shot.
Lackey is in an impressive groove and has some pretty good numbers against some of the Twins regulars.
Minnesota will not be able to ride the emotion of the opener in this one. Look for the Red Sox to have a better start than Monday, when they trailed 3-0 after two innings and never came close to threatening the Twins.