Red Sox Look to Start New Winning Streak Behind Tim Wakefield

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Red Sox Look to Start New Winning Streak Behind Tim Wakefield After going 12-7 against winning teams, the Red Sox opened a four-game series against the lowly Kansas City Royals with a loss. They will look to get back into the win column behind Tim Wakefield when the teams meet again Friday night at Fenway Park.

Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka threw back-to-back gems last weekend in Philadelphia, both tossing eight shutout innings. This time, however, Wakefield will be following up a difficult outing for Matsuzaka.

In Thursday's 4-3 loss, Matsuzaka walked eight men in just 4 2/3 innings, tying a career high. The setback snapped Boston's season-high five-game winning streak and dropped the club 6 1/2 games back in the AL East.

WHEN AND WHERE

Royals (20-28) at Red Sox (27-22)
Friday, May 28, 7:10 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sox are 20-7 at home against the Royals since 2003.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Kyle Davies (3-3, 4.53 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (1-2, 4.44 ERA)

Pitching a day after Matsuzaka flirted with a no-hitter Saturday, Wakefield may have been even better.

In outdueling Roy Halladay on Sunday, Wakefield allowed five hits in eight scoreless innings. The effort allowed him to finally pick up career win No. 190 with his first victory since last July.

In his last three starts, Wakefield has a 2.08 ERA. He is 11-6 with a 3.84 ERA against the Royals in his career.

Since giving up nine runs in four innings against Texas on May 6, Davies has posted a 2.65 ERA in three starts. He has struck out 12 and walked only two in that span.

The 26-year-old got a no-decision after allowing three runs in six innings of the Royals' 4-3 win over Boston on April 9. He threw five shutout innings to pick up a win in his only other start against the Red Sox.

LINEUPS

Royals Red Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF
Mike Aviles, 2B
David DeJesus, RF
Billy Butler, 1B
Jose Guillen, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mitch Maier, CF
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Jason Kendall, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Mike Cameron, CF

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka has held opponents to one hit in their last 29 at-bats with the bases loaded and nobody out.
  • Manny Delcarmen has not allowed a run in his last 14 outings of two innings or more, a streak that dates back to July 14, 2007.
  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis has reached base in his last 26 games with a plate appearance, batting .333 (28-for-84) with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in that span.

Royals

  • Kansas City had just four hits in Thursday's win, their fewest in a victory since July 11, 2008, when they defeated Seattle on four hits.
  • Closer Joakim Soria is 6-for-6 in save opportunities and has a 1.64 ERA against Boston.
  • Outfielder David DeJesus has hit safely in nine straight. He is batting .351 (13-for-37) in that stretch.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was re-examined Thursday by team officials after continuing to feel discomfort in his side. He will be looked at again Friday morning. Ellsbury played three games after coming off the disabled list Saturday, but has missed the last three.
  • Catcher Victor Martinez is still considered day-to-day after suffering a contusion on his left big toe in the second inning Monday. X-rays were negative. Martinez sat the next three games but was on target to catch Wakefield. He pinch hit in the ninth inning of Thursday's game.
  • Right-hander Josh Beckett, on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, threw his first side session Tuesday and is expected to throw another Friday.
  • Righty Boof Bonser pitched six scoreless innings this week for Pawtucket on Thursday night, allowing four hits and striking out five.
  • Infielder Jed Lowrie, out since mid-March with mono, is with the team working out in Boston as he attempts to work back to the field.

Royals

  • Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt suffered a concussion Tuesday and has missed two straight games.
  • Center fielder Rick Ankiel, who was swinging a hot bat when the Sox and Royals met last month, is on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.
  • Infielder Josh Fields is on the 60-day DL following right hip surgery.

OUTLOOK

With the exception of one rough relief outing earlier this month when balls were flying out of Camden Yards in Baltimore, Wakefield has been extremely good for some time now. He has also enjoyed success against the Royals in his career.

Coming off their quality stretch against baseball's elite teams, the Sox just couldn't get it going in Thursday's opener. With that one flat effort out of the way, look for them to be a bit more aggressive against Davies, who has been throwing strikes lately.

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