The Sox are back home for a seven-game homestand. Here are the lineups for the first of four against the Royals:
RED SOX (27-21)
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 1B
J.D. Drew RF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jeremy Hermida LF
Jason Varitek C
Bill Hall CF
Pitching: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-1, 5.76).
Scott Podsednik LF
Mike Aviles SS
David DeJesus RF
Billy Butler 1B
Jose Guillen DH
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Mitch Maier CF
Jason Kendall C
Chris Getz 2B
Pitching: RHP Brian Bannister (3-3, 4.73).
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
State of the Sox: The Sox return to Fenway from a 5-1 road trip. They have won five straight, eight of nine and 16 of the last 23. They are 5.5 games out of first place and two games behind the Yankees in the wild card race.
Royal flush: The Sox took two of three in Kansas City from April 9-11. They are 13-5 against the Royals over the last three seasons. The Royals have won only five of their last 20 games at Fenway Park.
Matsuzaka mania: Dice-K threw 7.2 hitless innings against the Phillies in his last start. He finished with eight shutout innings, facing 27 hitters. Matsuzaka is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA against Kansas City in two career starts. He last faced them in May 22, 2008 at Fenway Park, going 5.2 innings in an 11-8 win.
Stat of the day: Kevin Youkilis has walked 29 times this month. The franchise record for walks in May is 30 by Carl Yastrzemski in 1971. Youkilis leads the majors with 40 walks.
David now a Goliath: Ortiz has homered six times in his last 11 games. He is hitting .368 in May (25 of 68) with nine homers and 23 RBI. He is hitting .419 (18 of 43) in his last 12 games with 16 RBI.
Ortiz has at least one RBI in each of his last four games, seven of his last eight and nine of his last 11.
League leaders The Red Sox are 16-7 in May, the best record in the American League.
Pitching in: Red Sox starters are 7-1 with a 1.60 ERA in the last eight games. They have allowed 10 earned runs (six by John Lackey) in their last 56.1 innings.
That’s it from me today. Enjoy the game.