The Red Sox start a five-game road trip to Detroit and New York tonight. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (18-17)
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (3-3, 3.82).
Pitching: RHP Max Scherzer (1-3, 6.81).
Game time: 7:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN Plus/WEEI.
State of the Sox: The Red Sox are coming off a 7-3 homestand. They have won three of four, seven of 10 and 14 of the last 22. They start the day 6.5 games out of first place in the division.
Kings of the road: The Sox will play 11 of the next 13 games on the road against the Tigers, Yankees, Phillies and Rays. The only respite will be a two-game "homestand" against the Twins on Wednesday and Thursday.
Beware of the Tigers: Detroit is 7-2 in its last nine home games with those games coming against the Twins, Angels and Yankees.
Old friend: Johnny Damon is playing to his usual high standards in his first year in Detroit. He is at .293/.405/.439 after 35 games.
Buch in bad shape: Clay Buchholz could use a good outing. He has lasted only 10.2 innings in his last two starts, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 17 hits and eight walks. The Angels and Yankees hit .395 against him in those two games.
Trending up: Hideki Okajima has not allowed a run in his last 3.2 innings (5 appearances). ... David Ortiz is 9 of 29 in May with three homers and seven RBI. ... J.D. Drew has reached base safely in 11 of his last 12 games. He was 15 of 32 on the homestand with seven RBI, five walks and 11 runs scored.
Trending down: Adrian Beltre is 3 of his last 19, dropping his batting average from .343 o .313. ... Victor Martinez is 2 of his last 19 but has five RBI in those four games. ... Darnell McDonald is 5 of his last 29.
Down on the farm: Mike Cameron is expected to play center field for Pawtucket in tonight's game against Syracuse. The game starts at 7:05.
Action Jackson: Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson was the American League Rookie of the Month. He'll get his award on the field before the game.
But don't they need a bat? Here's where the Red Sox offense stands today when compared to the other 30 teams:
Home runs: 2nd
Total bases: 2nd
And that's with Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron barely playing.
On the iPod right now: Here Comes My Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Back with much more later on.