Brief Homestand Kicks Off With Clay Buchholz Taking on Twins The Red Sox' challenging May schedule continues when they welcome the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins to Fenway Park on Wednesday for the first of two.

The Sox could use a little home cooking after a 2-3 road trip that ended with Tuesday night's grinding win in New York. The comeback 7-6 win got Boston back to .500

The club may have the right guy on the mound. It has won 13 of the last 17 starts made by Clay Buchholz, including a victory to start the road trip.

The Twins, who took two of three from the Sox at home back in April, are 2-3 thus far on a seven-game road trip against AL East teams.

WHEN AND WHERE

Twins (24-15) vs. Red Sox (20-20)
Wednesday, May 19, 7 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

Boston is 5-0 at home against Minnesota over the last two seasons.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Scott Baker (4-3, 4.93 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.46 ERA)

Although he has had some control issues of late, Buchholz has been the team's most consistent starter. In fact, he is the only one of six who have made starts for the Sox this year to have not allowed more than five earned runs in a game.

The command issues have been a bit of a concern of late, however. Buchholz has walked 13 batters while striking out just six in the month of May. He is walking more than one every two innings in 2010.

In his only career start against Minnesota, Buchholz gave up seven runs on eight hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Unlike Buchholz, Baker's control has been impeccable of late. He has 23 strikeouts and just three walks in 21 innings over his last three starts, winning two of them. Baker is 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA in three games — two starts — against Boston.

LINEUPS

Twins Red Sox
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Bill Hall, SS
Darnell McDonald, CF
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau,
1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Jason Kubel, DH
Brendan Harris, SS
Nick Punto, 3B

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis hit his 100th career home run Tuesday. He is a .343 (69-for-201) hitter against the Yankees.
  • Right fielder J.D. Drew has reached base safely in 17 straight games, with a hit in 15 of them.
  • The Sox have homered in 13 of their last 18 games.

Twins

  • Minnesota leads the American League with 169 walks, while its pitchers have the lowest walk rate in the majors.
  • Designated hitter Jim Thome has 1,581 career RBIs, 38th on the all-time list. He is two behind Al Kaline and three behind Harmon Killebrew and Rogers Hornsby.
  • First baseman Justin Morneau has 199 career doubles.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in a rehab game Tuesday with Double-A Portland. He will return to Boston on Wednesday to consult with the medical staff. Ellsbury has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 18 with rib injuries.
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron has gone 4-for-13 with a home run and four walks in a rehab stint at Pawtucket, which will resume Wednesday after a couple of days off. Cameron has been out since April 18 with an abdominal strain and was still feeling a little tenderness earlier in the week.
  • Righty Boof Bonser allowed two runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings Monday in his fifth rehab start for Pawtucket.
  • Josh Beckett was removed from Tuesday's game with tightness in his back.
  • J.D. Drew also left Tuesday's game after doubling in the eighth inning.

Twins

  • Shortstop J.J. Hardy is on the DL with a bruised left wrist.
  • Right-handed relievers Pat Neshek and Clay Condrey are both on the DL with a finger injury and an elbow injury, respectively.
  • Closer Joe Nathan is out for the season after Tommy John surgery.

OUTLOOK

These are the only two home games for the Red Sox in a span of 13, all against quality opponents, so making the most of them is imperative.