Extra Bases

Game 26: Angels at Red Sox

The Sox are back home after a 3-3 road trip. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (11-14)
Scutaro SS
Pedroia 2B
Martinez C
Youkilis 1B
Drew RF
Lowell DH
Beltre 3B
Hall LF
McDonald CF

Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (2-2, 2.19).

ANGELS (12-14)
Aybar SS
Abreu DH
Hunter CF
Morales 1B
Matsui LF
Rivera RF
Izturis 3B
Kendrick 2B
Napoli C

Pitching: LHP Joe Saunders (1-4, 5.74).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.


State of the Sox: In two words: not good. The Sox are coming off a three-game sweep by the Orioles, the worst team in baseball so far this season. The Sox are 6-10 in division games and 5-8 at Fenway Park.

They meet again: The Angels return to Fenway for the first time since dispatching of the Red Sox in the American League Division Series last October. Game 3 of that series was on Oct. 11. Down 6-4, the Angels scored three runs in the ninth inning of Jonathan Papelbon to win the game and finish the series.

But this is a different Angels team. Two players at the center of that rally, Vlad Guerrero and Chone Figgins, left as free agents in the offseason as did John Lackey (now with the Red Sox) and lefty reliever Darren Oliver. The Angels are off to a slow start and have lost three straight. They were swept by the Tigers over the weekend, losing 5-1 on Sunday. They are in the middle of a 10-game road trip.

Frequent foes: Counting the playoffs, the Red Sox have played the Angels 54 times in the last five years. The Sox have won 26 of those games.


Buch’s back: Clay Buchholz is coming off a tremendous start against Toronto that saw him allow one run on seven hits over eight innings. He is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three career starts against the Angels. Buchholz did not face Los Angeles in the regular season last year, but started Game 3 in the playoffs and allowed two runs over five innings.

Worth noting: At .330, Adrian Beltre is the only Red Sox player hitting better than .295. … The Sox are 1-5 in extra innings and their six extra-inning games are the most in the majors. … The Sox start the day seven games out of first place.

Drew heats up: J.D. Drew is 5 of his last 12 with three home runs, four RBI and four runs scored.

On the iPod right now: Riding In the Backseat by The Gentlemen.

Back with more later on.

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