Some pregame tidbits, courtesy of the Red Sox PR staff:
The Sox have lost two straight and three of the last four games after opening this six-game roadtrip with a 5-2 12-inning loss last night. It was the Red Sox’ second extra inning game of 2006 and both have gone 12 innings, the other a 7-6 defeat in Toronto on April 21.
Going to the Matt: Matt Clement makes his first career start against the Twins tonight. Clement has not pitched in 10 days since June 4 in Detroit, when he defeated the Tigers 8-3 after limiting Detroit to three runs on six hits and two walks in six strong innings. This was his third layoff of a week or more in 2006.
A striking performance: Minnesota’s Johan Santana recorded 13 strikeouts on Tuesday, the most by an opposing pitcher versus the Red Sox since Toronto’s Ted Lilly recorded that same total on Aug. 23, 2004 at SkyDome. The last opponent to fan more than 13 batters versus the Sox was Baltimore’s Mike Mussina with 15 on Sept. 24, 2000 at Fenway Park.
Grand old time: Jason Kubel’s walkoff grand slam last night was the first against the Red Sox since 2004 and the ninth in the last 41 years since 1966. The 12th-inning blast was the latest that Boston has ever been beaten on a walk-off slam. The nine walk-off grand slams versus the Red Sox since 1966:
Date / Player / Team / Inning
6/13/06 — Jason Kubel, MIN — 12
Totally Rad: Manny Ramirez has enjoyed success over the years versus tonight’s Twins starter Brad Radke. Manny has a career .368 (25 for 68) average with six homers and 20 RBIs against the Minnesota righthander. It is his most RBIs versus an individual pitcher (18 vs. Jamie Moyer and Andy Petiitte) and matches his most hits against one team (Pettitte) while his average ranks as second highest versus a pitcher (50 or more AB) behind his .424 (25 for 59) mark against Pettitte.
Catch all: Jason Varitek has homered in two of his last four and three of his last nine games. He ranks fifth among AL catchers with seven homers and fourth with 30 RBIs. Varitek has appeared in 966 games behind the plate for the Red Sox, one shy of tying Sammy White for second on the all-time club list. Carlton Fisk is the leader at 990.
Decisions pending: The Sox bullpen has earned the decision in four of team’s last five games, going 2-2 in that span. Relievers own four of team’s last six wins. Their 10 total relief wins are tied for second in the AL behind Texas (11).
7/19/04 — Bret Boone, SEA — 11
7/31/03 — Alex Rodriguez, TEX — 11
8/15/90 — Mark McGwire, OAK — 10
5/14/90 — Rey Palacios, KC — 10
7/17/86 — Jim Presley, SEA — 11
4/10/80 — Sixto Lezcano, MIL — 9
4/22/73 — Ron Lolich, CLE — 9
8/2/66 — Jimmie Hall, MIN — 9