The Red Sox open a four-game series tonight. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (60-45)
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (10-5, 4.26)
Pitching: RHP Fausto Carmona (10-8, 3.92)
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
State of the Sox: The Sox have won two straight, five of six and seven of their last 10 games. They start the day 5.5 games out in the wild card and 6.5 out in the division.
Big, bad John: Lackey is 1-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his three starts since the All-Star break, allowing four earned runs on 16 hits and four walks over 22.1 innings.
Ready to go: Daniel Bard has had five days off.
Big lift: Jed Lowrie is 6 of 16 with two runs scored, two RBIs, two walks and four doubles in his last five games.
Good-luck charm: The Red Sox are 24 games over .500 (52-28) when Darnell McDonald gets in the game.
The season savior: Adrian Beltre is 23 of 66 (.348) with eight runs scored, 11 RBIs and nine extra-base hits since the All-Star break. He has hit safely in the last seven games.
Beltre has scored 52 runs, driven in 66 runs and had 49 extra-base hits this season. He had 54 runs, 44 RBIs and 35 extra-base hits all last season for Seattle. He’s on a pace to hit 27 bombs and drive in 103 runs.
No coincidence: The Sox are 5-1 since Victor Martinez came back. He has started every game since coming off the DL, going 7 for 25.
Youuuuuuk: Kevin Youkilis has hit safely in 11 of the last 12 games at .367. He’s at .307/.412 /.565 and Paul Konerko is at .297/.373/.569. Just saying.
I want it all or nothing at all: Here’s why strikeouts are no big deal. David Ortiz has fanned 18 times in his last 42 at-bats. But he’s also 13 of 42 with seven runs scored, 12 RBIs and four homers over 10 games with the Red Sox going 7-3.
They take it back, Marco. It really was a good idea to sign you: Marco Scutaro has hit safely in six straight games at 12 of 28. His .741 OPS is fourth among qualified AL leadoff hitters, which is better than Derek Jeter. With Scutaro hitting leadoff for nearly the entire season, the Red Sox have the second-most runs in baseball.
Scutaro also is seeing 4.04 pitches per plate appearance, 21st in the league and second among leadoff hitters.
On the iPod right now: “Suffragette City” by David Bowie.
Check back later for updates from Fenway and a live in-game blog.