The Sox, for the first time in a while, are playing to avoid a sweep. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (43-30)
Marco Scutaro SS
Daniel Nava LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jason Varitek C
Mike Cameron CF
Josh Reddick RF
Daisuke Matsuzaka RHP (5-2, 4.59)
Jonathan Herrera 2B
Todd Helton 1B
Carlos Gonzalez CF
Brad Hawpe RF
Seth Smith LF
Miguel Olivo C
Ian Stewart 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Jason Hammel RHP (5-3, 4.03)
Game time: 8:40 p.m.
State of the Sox: The losses in the first two games of the series have dropped the Red Sox 2.5 games behind the Yankees, who are idle today. This is the third game of a six-game road trip. The team leaves for San Francisco after the game.
Stop the skid: The Sox have not lost three straight since May 15-17 against the Tigers and Yankees.
Another roll of the Dice: This will be the first start for Matsuzaka since he went on the disabled list without an injury. Matsuzaka felt stiff warming up on June 12 and was immediately put on the DL retroactive to June 8.
Turns out he was fine and has been throwing since. Matsuzaka has been solid in his last four starts. going 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA. He will be facing the Rockies for the first time since Game 3 of the 2007 World Series at Coors Field. He allowed two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings in that game and contributed a two-run single in the third inning.
Familiar foe: Hammel is 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA in eight career appearances against the Red Sox while pitching for the Rays from 2006-08. Here's how the Sox have fared against him:
Good control: Sox pitchers have one walk in their last 22.1 innings.
Good sticks, too: Sox pitchers have had 14 plate appearances in five interleague road games. They are 3 for 10 with four sacrifices. So half the time they have done something positive. That's pretty good for AL pitchers.
Williams, Yaz, Rice and Nava: The rookie with the great backstory is 13 of 34 since he arrived with eight extra-base hits and 10 RBI in 10 games. He also has scored six runs. The Sox are 7-3 in the Nava Era.
Double their pleasure: The Sox have at least one double in the last 12 games with a total of 34 over those dozen games. Through games played Wednesday, they have 178 doubles, 23 more than any other team.
Plenty of production: The Sox lead the majors in runs scored (397) and OPS (.819). They're on a pace to score 881 runs, which would be nine more than last season.
Jason Bay, by the way, hit two homers off CC Sabathia on May 23. He has hit one since and has four on the season. Red Sox with four or more home runs include Marco Scutaro, Darnell McDonald and Bill Hall.
Hot hurlers: Ramon Ramirez has allowed one run in his last 6.2 innings and struck out six. ... Manny Delcarmen has thrown 5.1 scoreless innings in his last six appearances and struck out seven.
Looking to connect: David Ortiz is hitless in his last 11 at-bats with five strikeouts.
That's it from me today. Nick Cafardo is in Denver with the team and will have your updates the rest of the way. I'm headed to San Francisco tonight.
Enjoy the game.