Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox Open Longest Road Trip of Season in Oakland

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Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox Open Longest Road Trip of Season in Oakland The Red Sox could not handle matters at home to begin the second half of the season. They’ll try to make things right on the road when they open a three-game series in Oakland on Monday night.

With a 4-2 loss to Texas on Sunday, the Sox fell for the eighth time in 11 games and lost for the fourth time in five games at home.

The road has not been much better for Boston, which is 5-9 away from home in its last 14 games.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will try for a rare second straight quality start when he gets the nod for the Sox.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red Sox (52-40) at Athletics (46-46)
Monday, July 19, 10:07 p.m.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, Calif.

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sox are 8-15 in Oakland over the last five years.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-3, 4.56 ERA) vs. RHP Ben Sheets (4-8, 4.63 ERA)

We saw the good Matsuzaka the last time he pitched, when he threw six strong innings in a 3-2 victory over Toronto. He struck out five and did not walk a batter for just the third time all year.

We saw the bad Matsuzaka the last time he appeared in Oakland. In just one inning of work on April 14 of last year, he gave up five runs on five hits and two walks before heading to the disabled list.

Overall, the righty is 3-1 with a 4.18 ERA against the A’s.

Sheets is coming off one of his best starts since joining Oakland before the year. He yielded two hits in six scoreless innings in a rout of the Angels before the break.


LINEUPS








Red Sox Athletics
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Eric Patterson, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Daniel Nava, LF
8. Darnell McDonald, CF
9. Kevin Cash, C
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. Kurt Suzuki, C
4. Jack Cust, DH
5. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
6. Mark Ellis, 2B
7. Gabe Gross, RF
8. Rajai Davis, LF
9. Cliff Pennington, SS


STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis went 7-for-11 (.636) with three doubles and the game-winning sacrifice fly on Saturday in the final three games of the Texas series.
  • Jon Lester has struck out at least six batters in seven straight starts, the longest such run by a Red Sox lefty since 1920.
  • Adrian Beltre is tied for the American League lead with 15 errors.

Athletics

  • Designated hitter Jack Cust has three home runs in his last four games. He had just three in the previous 42.
  • The A’s are last in the AL with 60 homers.
  • Oakland is back at .500 for the first time since June 15.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Second baseman Dustin Pedroia had a CT scan Friday that showed his broken left foot healing well. He was able to get rid of his crutches and put weight on the foot but has to keep a boot on it for up to two more weeks.
  • Right-hander Josh Beckett (back) will throw an extended side session Tuesday. If all goes well he will return to the rotation and start Friday in Seattle.
  • Right-hander Clay Buchholz (hamstring) is penciled into Wednesday’s start after throwing 3 2/3 innings in a rehab start Friday.
  • Catcher Jason Varitek also had a CT scan on his broken left foot Friday. He is a couple of weeks behind Pedroia in terms of his recovery and remains on crutches.
  • Catcher Victor Martinez played catch Sunday for the first time since breaking his left thumb last month, but still felt pain. He has only been able to bat from the left side so far. There is no timetable for his return.
  • Outfielder Jeremy Hermida (broken rib) is expected to play two games at Pawtucket, one in the outfield and one at DH, before rejoining the team in Seattle later in the week.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is in Florida continuing to rehab from a broken rib with the club’s Gulf Coast League affiliate.
  • Mike Lowell will take a cortisone shot in his right hip Monday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Pawtucket on Thursday.
  • Infielder Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 with a home run for Pawtucket on Friday. He is continuing to rehab from a prolonged bout of mononucleosis.
  • Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Athletics

  • Lefty Dallas Braden (left elbow stiffness) is slated to return to the rotation Tuesday.
  • Outfielder Conor Jackson is on the DL with a strained right hamstring.
  • Outfielder Ryan Sweeney is day-to-day with issues in both knees.
  • Lefty Brett Anderson may return to the rotation at the end of the week. He has been on the DL with left elbow tendinitis.
  • Outfielder Travis Buck is on the DL with a strained right oblique.
  • Right-hander Joey Devine and left-hander Josh Outman are both working their way back from Tommy John surgery.
  • Righty Justin Duchscherer is out for the season following hip surgery.
  • DH Eric Chavez is on the 60-day DL with bulging neck disks. He may return in September.

OUTLOOK

This series pits two banged up ball clubs headed in opposite directions. While the Sox are reeling, the A’s are entertaining thoughts of making one last push to stay in the division race, having won five straight.

With no days off for the duration of the 10-day trip, Boston would love to start things off on a good note. If it stumbles to start the excursion, the alarms that rang after the dismal series against Texas will only get louder.

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