Game 54: Athletics at Red Sox

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (30-23)
Scutaro SS
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Youkilis 1B
Drew RF
Beltre 3B
Hermida LF
Varitek C
McDonald CF

Pitching: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-2, 5.77).

ATHLETICS (28-25)
Davis CF
Barton CF
Sweeney RF
Suzuki C
Cust DH
Ellis 2B
Gross LF
Rosales 3B
Pennington SS

Pitching: RHP Ben Sheets (2-3, 4.91).

Game time: 7:10 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI.

State of the Sox: They have won three straight, eight of 10, and 11 of 14.

Dice-BB: Matsuzaka walked eight in his last start and is now pitching on an extra day of rest. What that means for tonight is anybody’s guess. He is 2-1, 4.21 in five career starts against Oakland.

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Under the Sheets: Ben Sheets will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career. Only five Sox hitters have faced him before: J.D. Drew (9-31), Mike Lowell (5-18), Adrian Beltre (4-15), Jeremy Hermida (1-5), and David Ortiz (0-2).

Tale of two seasons: Sheets in his first six starts:

30.1 IP, 42 H, 24 ER, 16 BB, 16 K, 6 HR, 7.12 ERA

Sheets in his last five starts:

32 IP, 22 H, 10 ER, 13 BB, 35 K, 1 HR, 2.81 ERA.

Hot hitters: Beltre is 23 of his last 51 with 16 RBIs. … Victor Martinez is 18 of his last 39 with 13 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.

The pen is mightier: Red Sox relievers have allowed five runs on 14 hits while striking out 20 in their last 25.1 innings.

Can’t stop him: Kurt Suzuki has hit safely in all 21 games he has started against the Red Sox in his career, going 30 for 87.

Getting straight A’s: The Sox have won five of their last seven against Oakland.

On the iPod right now: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2.

Back with much more later on.

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