Extra Bases

Game 52: Royals at Red Sox

The Sox have Jon Lester on the mound looking to split the series. Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (28-23)
Scutaro SS
McDonald LF
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 1B
Beltre 3B
Drew RF
Varitek C
Hall 2B
Cameron CF

Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (5-2, 3.15).

ROYALS (21-29)
Bloomquist LF
Aviles 2B
DeJesus RF
Butler 1B
Guillen DH
Callaspo 3B
Pena C
Betancourt SS
Maier CF

Pitching: LHP Bruce Chen (1-0, 2.89).

Game time: 1:35 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI.

State of the Sox: The Red Sox have won six of eight and nine of the last 12. Today is the 17th game they will have played in as many days. The Sox are 10-6 in that stretch to this point.

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Not so bad: The Sox were 30-22 after 52 games last season and went to win 95 games.

Ace up their sleeve: Jon Lester comes into the game 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last seven starts. His line: 49.2 IP, 25 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 19 BB, 58 K. He is 3-1, 1.20 in four career starts against Kansas City.

Here’s an interesting question for you: Is he the best lefty in the game right now?

Bullpen day: The Royals put Gil Meche on the DL yesterday and will bring Bruce Chen out of the bullpen to start the game. It will be his first start of the season. He threw 40 pitches in relief on May 23.

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Chen is 3-5, 4.84 in 14 career appearances against the Red Sox, seven of them starts. He started at Fenway last July 12, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks over three innings.

Hard to stop: David DeJesus is 9 of 20 in six games against the Sox this season with four doubles and five RBI.

Hot hitters: David Ortiz has hit in seven straight at 9 of 25 with five extra-base hits and seven RBI. … Adrian Beltre is 20 of his last 42 with 13 RBI. He has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. … Kevin Youkilis has walked 31 times this month. The team record for May is 34 times by Ted Williams in 1946.

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Cold hitters: Dustin Pedroia is 9 of his last 63 (.143) over 16 games with two RBI. His batting average has dropped from .305 to .255. He is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. … Jeremy Hermida is 0 for 12 in this series.

To the rescue: The Sox bullpen has allowed five earned runs over its last 20.1 innings.

On the IPod right now: She’s A Rebel by Green Day.

Back with much more later on including a live game blog.

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