Many eyes will be on Dustin Pedroia when he makes his return as the Red Sox kick off a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday night.
Hopefully someone will notice the great pitching matchup.
With Pedroia in the lineup for the first time since June 25, Boston gives the ball to Clay Buchholz opposite Angels ace Jered Weaver.
The Red Sox are coming off a 5-5 road trip and they're trail the Yankees and Rays — who are in a virtual tie for first place in the AL East — by 5 1/2 games.
WHEN AND WHERE
Angels (60-59) at Red Sox (67-52)
Monday, August 17, 7:10 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston
Across Enemy Lines
HEAD TO HEAD
The Red Sox have won all seven meetings this year.
RHP Jered Weaver (11-7, 2.87 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (13-5, 2.49 ERA)
Buchholz simply keeps rolling. He allowed only one uneared run in eight innings against Toronto six days ago to win his third straight decision and 10th in his last 12.
The righty, who turned 26 on Saturday, has a 1.48 ERA over his last four starts and owns the top mark in that category in the American League.
Buchholz is 2-0 this year against the Angels but owns a 5.16 ERA in five career starts in such matchups.
While Buchholz tops the junior circuit in ERA, Weaver leads the way in strikeouts (182) and is third in WHIP (1.08). He was a hard-luck loser against Boston at home back on July 27 when he allowed two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 loss.
Weaver owns a 7.06 ERA in four career starts at Fenway Park.
Lineups will be posted approximately four hours before first pitch.
- Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Sunday become the second-fastest pitcher to reach 500 strikeouts in Red Sox history. Matsuzaka reached the milestone in his 91st career outing. Roger Clemens did it in 79 games.
- Boston's bullpen gave up 11 runs in eight innings in the last four games of the road trip.
- Infielder/outfielder Bill Hall hit 10-for-32 (.313) with three home runs and seven RBIs on the road trip.
- Shortstop Erick Aybar is batting just .216 (11-for-51) in August.
- Infielder Alberto Callaspo is batting .306 (22-for-72) since joining Los Angeles in a trade with Kansas City, but 20 of the hits have been singles. He has only two doubles with the Angels.
- The Angels are 15-5 when Bobby Wilson starts at catcher.
BLACK AND BLUE
- Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this season with soreness in his troubled left side, the result of a collision at first base Friday night.
- First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery Friday to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
- Center fielder Mike Cameron is on the DL with a lower abdominal strain. He hopes to return soon.
- Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) did some running on the field Friday. He remains at least a week behind Pedroia.
- Catcher Kevin Cash is on the DL with a left hamstring strain.
- Left-hander Hideki Okajima is on the DL with a right hamstring strain. He threw a bullpen session with Varitek in Arlington.
- Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
- Right-hander Joel Pineiro is out until September with a left oblique strain.
- Right-hander Rich Thompson is on the DL with right shoulder inflammation.
- Right-hander Jason Bulger is expected to join the team soon as he recovers from a strained right shoulder.
- Reliever Brian Stokes is on the DL with right shoulder fatigue. He began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month.
- First baseman Kendry Morales is out for the year with a broken leg.
With Pedroia back and two 10-game road trips in the rearview mirror, it's time for the Red Sox to string together some wins.