Game 53: Athletics at Red Sox

The Sox are back in action (weather permitting) and here are the lineups:

RED SOX (29-23)
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Bill Hall LF
Darnell McDonald CF

Pitching: RHP John Lackey (5-3, 4.84).

ATHLETICS (28-24)
Rajai Davis CF
Daric Barton 1B
Ryan Sweeney RF
Kurt Suzuki C
Jack Cust DH
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Gabe Gross LF
Mark Ellis 2B
Cliff Pennington SS

Pitching: LHP Gio Gonzalez (5-3, 3.54).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI.

State of the Sox: The Red Sox had yesterday off and start the day five games out of first place in the division and 2.5 games out in the wild card. They have won two straight, seven of nine, and 10 of 13.

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Weather report: There are storms headed this way and the tarp is on the field. We’ll keep you posted whenever we get any news from the Sox. The hope seems to be that the storms will blow through and they’ll play the game.

Bad grades against the A’s: The Sox are 18-20 against Oakland since the start of the 2006 season. They will play Oakland nine times this season, including six times out in California.

Old friends: John Lackey is 16-4, 2.76 in 29 career starts against Oakland.

Need of improvement: Lackey’s last four starts: 24.1 innings, 31 hits, 17 earned runs, 16 walks, 14 strikeouts, 4 home runs. He’s 2-2, 6.29 in that stretch.

Control tower: Lackey is averaging 4.4 walks per nine innings, the highest rate of his career. He was at 2.4 last year. The same is true of his strikeout rate, which was 7.1 in 2009 and is 5.1 this season.

Penmanship: Sox relievers have allowed five earned runs in their last 22.1 innings while striking out 17.

They’re hot: David Ortiz is 10 of his last 26 with six extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. He has hit safely in eight straight. … Mike Cameron is 6 of 17 since he came off the disabled list. … Marco Scutaro is 8 of his last 17 over four games. … Adrian Beltre is 20 of his last 46 with 13 RBIs over 12 games.

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They’re not: Dustin Pedroia is 0 for his last 13 and 9 of his last 63 (.143). … J.D. Drew is 5 of his last 23. … Jeremy Hermida is 0 for his last 12.

Gio-graphy lesson: Gonzalez has faced the Red Sox once, last July 30 at Fenway. He allowed three runs on five hits and four walks over 5.1 innings but struck out eight in a game the Sox won, 8-5.

Lefty hitters are hitting only .156 against Gonzalez this season, hence the Red Sox lineup, Righthanders aren’t doing much better (.231). He has pitched better at home (2.97 ERA in five starts) as opposed to on the road (4.23 in five starts).

Manny’s the man: Opposing hitters are 11 of 83 (.183) against Manny Delcarmen.

On the iPod right now: Give The Girl A Kiss by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band from Disc 1 of the Tracks box seat. Underrated Bruce tune. Sort of like an early 60s, fraternity rock kind of tune.

Back with much more later. Dark skies over Fenway now and we’ll post weather updates as they become available.

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