Daisuke Matsuzaka Mystery Continues Against Fausto Carmona, Indians The Red Sox' seven-game road trip continues when they head to the shores of Lake Erie to take on the last-place Cleveland Indians in the first of four games.

Boston took two of three in Baltimore to start the excursion, dropping a 4-3, 11-inning affair Sunday afternoon in Camden Yards. It was just the second loss in the last eight games for the Sox, who enter 4 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will attempt to put together two good starts in a row after a solid effort against Oakland five days ago.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red Sox (33-25) at Indians (21-34)
Monday, June 7, 7:05 p.m.
Progressive Field, Cleveland

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sox are 17-8 in Cleveland since 2002 and 17-5 over the past three years.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (4-2, 5.49 ERA) vs. RHP Fausto Carmona (4-4, 3.53 ERA)

The mystery of Matsuzaka continued in his latest outing. Coming off an eight-walk performance against Kansas City, he was reached for three runs in his first inning of work against Oakland at Fenway Park.

Just as it appeared as if the wildly inconsistent Matsuzaka was headed down a dark path again, he rebounded to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings before exiting the game with seven strikeouts against no walks.

In his four wins, the 29-year-old has a 3.00 ERA, 24 strikeouts and seven walks. In his two losses and one no-decision, he has a 10.29 mark with just eight strikeouts against 14 free passes.

Matsuzaka is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three career starts against Cleveland.

Carmona, a 19-game winner in 2007, continues in his attempt to rebound from two straight poor seasons. He started 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA, but is 0-3 with a 4.05 mark in his last three appearances.

The 26-year-old Carmona is 1-2 with a 5.94 ERA against Boston.

LINEUPS

Red Sox Indians
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, LF
Josh Reddick, CF

Trevor Crowe, CF
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Austin Kearns, LF
Russell Branyan, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Travis Hafner, DH
Luis Valbuena, 2B
Mike Redmond, C
Jason Donald, SS

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • John Lackey, who pitched seven innings on Sunday, has gone six or more innings in 10 of his 12 starts.
  • Boston entered Sunday's play leading the majors in runs, hits, RBIs and total bases.
  • Designated hitter David Ortiz is hitless in his last 13 at-bats.

Indians

  • Third baseman Jhonny Peralta has seven RBIs in his last three games.
  • When the Indians scored three times in the first inning Sunday, it snapped a string of 13 straight games without a run in the opening frame.
  • Cleveland has an American League-low eight wins at home.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury remains on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his once-fractured ribs. He has been swinging off a tee and was expected to take cuts in the batting cage over the weekend.
  • Outfielder Jeremy Hermida missed the last two games over the weekend with soreness in his ribs and a forearm contusion after a collision with Adrian Beltre on Friday.
  • Starter Josh Beckett will likely not resume any baseball activities until the end of the series, at the earliest. He is on the DL with a lower back strain.
  • Right-hander Boof Bonser is expected to meet with the team in Cleveland. He finished a rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket with an inning of relief Saturday night. Bonser, who has been on the DL with a groin injury, has an opt-out clause in his contract if he is not called up.
  • Infielder Jed Lowrie continues to try to work back from mononucleosis.

Indians

  • Outfielder Grady Sizemore had season-ending knee surgery June 4.
  • Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is on the DL with a broken left forearm.
  • Right-hander Anthony Reyes is not expected back until after the All-Star break. He had Tommy John surgery last June.

OUTLOOK

The Sox have a nine-game homestand on the horizon, and a great chance to carry some momentum into Fenway Park — the Indians rank 12th in the AL in runs scored and are tied for 12th with a 4.77 team ERA.

But, as the saying goes, momentum goes only as far as your next day's starting pitcher, and Boston still does not know what to expect from Matsuzaka. He appeared to make strides the last time out by pounding the zone and letting his defense do its job.

A second straight positive outing for Matsuzaka would be a great sign for Boston going forward.