Tim Wakefield Toes the Rubber Against Royals in Boston’s First Road Trip of 2010

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Tim Wakefield Toes the Rubber Against Royals in Boston's First Road Trip of 2010Tim Wakefield Toes the Rubber Against Royals in Boston's First Road Trip of 2010The Red Sox hit the road for the first time in 2010 when they begin a three-game series in Kansas City.

The series opener will feature the first start of the season for 43-year-old Tim Wakefield, who is coming off a very strong spring. He will be saddled with the task of trying to deliver Boston its first win in five days.

The Sox took the opener of a three-game set against the New York Yankees on Sunday but lost the last two. Jonathan Papelbon gave up two runs in the top of the 10th inning in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss.

Boston is coming off consecutive losing seasons on the road for the first time since 1996-97.

Kyle Davies will be on the mound for the Royals.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red Sox (1-2) vs. Royals (1-2)
Tuesday, April 9, 8 p.m. (NESN)
Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

HEAD TO HEAD

Boston won last year’s season series 5-3. Kansas City leads the all-time series 209-206, meaning the Red Sox would tie it up with a sweep.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Tim Wakefield (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Davies (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Despite having offseason back surgery and coming into camp with a few question marks, Tim Wakefield has proven he is more than ready to enter his 16th season with the Red Sox.

He enters just 11 wins shy of 200 for his career and 17 short of tying Roger Clemens and Cy Young atop the franchise list. He needs just 65 innings to surpass Clemens and become the all-time team leader in innings pitched.

Wakefield, who was 4-1 with a 3.04 ERA in Grapefruit League play, is 11-6 lifetime against the Royals.

Davies is coming off a season in which he established career highs in starts (22), innings (123) and strikeouts (86) — but he was just 8-9 with a 5.27 ERA.

The 26-year-old threw five shutout innings and got the win in his major league debut against Boston back in 2006. It is the only time he has faced the Sox.

LINEUPS

Red Sox Royals
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
Marco Scutaro, SS
David Dejesus, RF
Scott Podsednik, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Billy Butler, 1B
Rick Ankiel, CF
Jose Guillen, DH
Jason Kendall, C
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Chris Getz, 2B

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Boston is 7-9 over its last five years in Kansas City.
  • Catcher Victor Martinez has hit .396 (19-for-48) in a 12-game hitting streak in April games.
  • Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has four strikeouts against no walks.

Royals

  • Kansas City has stolen five bases in three games.
  • Left fielder Scott Podsednik went 4-for-5 in Thursday’s 7-3 loss to Detroit but did not have an RBI and failed to score a run.
  • Reliever Roman Colon has allowed two hits and walked three in 1/3 inning this year.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka will start on Saturday in Pawtucket, the first of what is expected to be three minor league outings.
  • Boof Bonser gave up three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings in a start at Pawtucket on Thursday. He threw 76 pitches, 43 for strikes.
  • Jed Lowrie remains on the disabled list with mono. Manager Terry Francona said on Wednesday he has yet to make any real progress toward a return.

Royals

  • Third baseman Josh Fields is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday. He is out with a sore hip.
  • Starter Gil Meche had a solid minor league outing on Tuesday. He may return from right shoulder stiffness by Sunday.
  • Third baseman Alex Gordon begins a rehab assignment this week. He is on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb.

OUTLOOK

When the Red Sox hit the field, it will have been five days since they last tasted victory. Wakefield should give them a chance to get that taste again against a Royals lineup that offers few major challenges.

Francona said that some of the reserves will get time this weekend. He has used the same lineup in all three games and has yet to make a substitution.

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