The Sox are back on the road and it’s time for the first interleague series of the season. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (22-20)
Lackey RHP (4-2, 4.86).
Hamels LHP (4-2, 4.29).
Game time: 7:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN, MLB/WEEI.
State of the Sox: The Red Sox have won three straight and 11 of their last 17. They are 8.5 games behind the Runnin’ Away Rays but only 3.5 out in the wild card. They have get to get to three games over .500 this season.
Hanging tough: The Sox are in the middle of a tough stretch that will see them play 13 games in as many days against contenders with 11 of the games coming on the road. They are 4-3 so far with three games at Philly and three at Tampa Bay yet to come.
Interleague intrigue: The Sox are 127-102 in interleague games over the years, 62-28 over the last five seasons. They have outscored National League teams by 141 runs in the last 90 meetings.
Take that: Terry Francona is 14-4 against Philadelphia as the Red Sox manger. The Phillies fired him after the 2000 season.
Power surge: The Sox have hit 14 home runs in their last seven games and have 58 for the season, second in the majors. They are on a pace to hit 224, or 12 more than last season.
They’re offensive: The Sox are second in the majors in OPS (.804) and fourth in runs scored with 219.
Lack of getting outs: John Lackey’s last two starts were rough ones as he allowed 11 runs on 17 hits and seven walks over 13 innings. His ERA has climbed from 3.89 to 4.86. He is 1-0 against Philadelphia in his career, having made one start against them back in 2003.
Tough customer: Hamels has allowed six runs in his last 19.2 innings. He has one career start against the Sox, beating them in 2008 when he allowed two runs over seven innings.
The power of the goatee: Kevin Youkilis is having a monster May. He is hitting .411 (23 of 56) with a .585 OBP and a .786 slugging percentage. Over 18 games he has scored 18 runs, hit 10 extra-base hits (five of them homers), walked 22 times and driven in 14 runs while striking out only eight times.
Best comeback tour since the Eagles: David Ortiz is 19 of 53 (.358) this month with seven homers and 17 RBI. His batting average has gone from .143 to .248.
They’re hot: Bill Hall has five RBI in his last seven games. … Darnell McDonald had hit in five straight at 6 of 16. … Victor Martinez is 7 of 12 with two homers, three doubles and five runs scored.
They’re not: Dustin Pedroia is 4 of his last 26 (.154). … Mike Lowell is 0 for his last 8.
On the iPod right now: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend.
Back with much more later on.