The Sox evened the series with a 6-3 win Wednesday. Dustin Pedroia homered and had two RBIs, and John Lackey threw 6 2/3 strong innings as Boston won for the third time in four games overall.
With Tim Wakefield on the mound, the Sox will vie for their first series win in Minneapolis since 2000 in the Metrodome. Mike Lowell is expected to get his first start at designated hitter in place of David Ortiz.
It is the last of six straight games on the road for Boston. The club opens a 10-game homestand — one of two all season that lasts that long — on Friday against Tampa Bay.
The teams have split the first two games of the season series. They only play five times in 2010, the fewest meetings ever in one year.
RHP Tim Wakefield (0-0, 2.57 ERA) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (0-0, 4.50 ERA)
At 43 and coming off back surgery, Wakefield said all spring he felt as good as ever. If his first start of the season was any indication, he wasn’t lying.
Wakefield allowed two runs in seven innings at Kansas City on Friday. The Sox’ bullpen blew Wakefield’s lead, but the knuckleballer’s history against the Twins figures to give him a chance to get career win No. 190.
The righty is 14-5 in 26 games (23 starts) lifetime against Minnesota.
Looking to rediscover the form that saw him go 12-3 in 2006, Liriano reportedly found his fastball over the winter and had a dominant spring. He had some control problems in his 2010 debut, however, walking five in six innings of a 4-3 win over Chicago.
Liriano has been abysmal against Boston. In eight innings over two starts against the Red Sox, he has given up 12 runs on 15 hits.
|Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, DH
JD Drew, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
Bill Hall, LF
Based purely on the numbers, this figures to be a mismatch. Wakefield has had great success against the Twins, while Liriano has been a mess when facing the Sox.
Just keep an eye on the Minnesota running game. Led by Span, the Twins figure to run at every chance against Wakefield and Victor Martinez, who has thrown out 1-of-12 runners thus far.
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