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.