The Sox will try and even the series tonight. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (22-21)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
J.D. Drew RF
David Ortiz 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeremy Hermida LF
Jason Varitek C
Marco Scutaro SS
Daisuke Matsuzaka RHP (2-1, 7.89).
Shane Victorino CF
Placido Polanco 3B
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Carlos Ruiz C
Juan Castro SS
Kyle Kendrick RHP (2-1, 5.24).
Game time: 7:05 p.m.
State of the Sox: Pretty matter-of-fact game last night. Cole Hamels was real good and John Lackey was not. The Sox are 4-4 in their 13-game test against assorted contenders.
Interesting lineup: Kevin Youkilis, who is pretty much the hottest hitter in baseball, sits so Ortiz can play first base. But Ortiz is one of the hottest hitters in the game, too. Francona is fairly well determined to play Youkilis only at 1B this season. Beltre (.316/.355 /.452) is no slouch, so it’s a no-win situation unless the Sox win the game.
Welcome back: Ellsbury last played for the Sox on April 11, when he cracked four ribs. He was 10 for 30 when he went down. Ellsbury was 4 for 10 in three minor-league rehab games.
Just another roll of the Dice: Matsuzaka has started four games since coming off the disabled list. He has been lousy three times and very good once. He pitched poorly against the Yankees on Monday then complained about the pitches Victor Martinez called. That did not sit well in the clubhouse.The Phillies, who have a patient, AL-style lineup, could wear him out in a hurry if he doesn’t throw strikes.
Matsuzaka faced the Phillies last June 13 and lasted only four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. His one good start this season was with Varitek catching, so perhaps that bodes well.
Lucky to be here: The Red Sox have been outscored by seven runs this season. Based on their Pythagorean winning percentage, they should be 21-22. So it could be worse.
Random notage: Kevin Youkilis has reached base safely in 21 straight games. … The Sox have won 10 of their last 14 games in Philadelphia. … Dustin Pedroia has four hits in his last 30 at-bats. … Mike Lowell is 0 for his last 10. … Darnell McDonald is 11 of his last 33.
On the iPod right now: Everywhere by Billy Bragg. Saw Billy for the first time at the Iron Horse in Northampton. Great show.
Back with more later on.