Good morning. Here's a preview of this afternoon's game.
RED SOX (53-55)
Pitching: LHP Franklin Morales (2-2, 3.32)
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.43)
Game time: 1:35 p.m.
Red Sox vs. Blackburn: Ellsbury 5-18, Shoppach 9-18, Crawford 1-14, Pedroia 4-15, Aviles 6-11, Gonzalez 3-7, Ross 1-4, Saltalamacchia 0-3
Twins vs. Morales: Mauer 1-4, Carroll 1-3, Doumit 0-2, Morneau 0-2, Span 1-1, Willingham 0-1, Valencia 0-0 (BB)
Stat of the Day: On Saturday, Pedro Ciriaco became the first Red Sox player to hit his first career home run as a pinch-hitter since Yamaico Navarro on July 2, 2011.
Notes: The season series with the Twins is on the line today, as the teams have three wins apiece. ... The Red Sox scored five runs off Blackburn in three innings April 24 in Boston. ... Blackburn has allowed six runs or more in three of his last five starts. ... Morales didn't allow a run against the Twins in two April relief appearances. ... Aviles's home run Saturday gave him a single-season career high 11 homers. ... Crawford celebrates his 31st birthday today. He is 10-for-30 with a double and 3 homers in his last seveb games on his birthday including 2 for 4 with a double last year. Crawford is the only modern Major Leaguer (since 1900) to record 200 doubles, 100 triples, 100 homers and 400 stolen bases before turning 31 years old. ... After Saturday's RBI double, Crawford now has seven extra-base hits in his last eight games. ... Bobby Valentine is three games away from 3,000 games managed in his career. ... RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday for Triple A Pawtucket. ... RHP Andrew Bailey is set to make a rehab appearance for Double A Portland.