James Loney singled in a run in his debut for the Boston Red Sox, but the effects of the blockbuster deal that brought him from the Los Angeles Dodgers likely won’t be felt until next year and beyond. Until then, the Red Sox are just another team playing out the string and trying to get back to .500 before the season ends. They have a chance to pick up their first series win at home since July 30-Aug. 1 when they close out a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals on Monday.
Boston is looking at several players who might not have gotten much time had the team performed to expectations. Pedro Ciriaco has taken his opportunity and run with it, pounding out a home run and three more hits Sunday to lift his average to .360 in 42 games. The utility infielder has multiple hits in four straight contests. The Royals are trying to end the season strong and have worked their way to third in the American League Central. Kansas City has broken out of an offensive slump with 16 runs in the last two games, with Alex Gordon leading the charge.
Royals Red Sox Betting
When: 1:35 PM ET, Monday, August 27, 2012
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSKC (Kansas City), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Luke Hochevar (7-11, 4.95 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-3, 6.65)
Hockevar is coming off one of the best performances of his career, when he matched up with fellow No. 1 overall pick David Price at Tampa Bay and ended up allowing one hit while striking out a season-high 10 in eight scoreless innings. The 28-year-old has not won any of his last four starts and has received a total of two runs of support in the last three. Hochevar has struggled against Boston, going 2-4 with a 6.56 ERA in six starts.
Matsuzaka has been out since July 3 with a neck injury and has made only five starts this season after recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Japanese right-hander was lit up for five runs on four hits in just one inning before exiting with the neck problem at Oakland on July 2. Matsuzaka has faced the Royals three times in his career, going 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA. The 31-year-old has issued 15 walks in 17 1/3 innings against Kansas City.
1. The Red Sox are considering shutting down DH David Ortiz (Achilles) for the remainder of the season. A decision was expected to be made Monday.
2. Royals general manager Dayton Moore assured reporters that the team is not interested in signing 50-year-old Roger Clemens. Rumors swirled after two Kansas City scouts were seen at Clemens’ comeback start for an independent league team Saturday.
3. Mark Melancon earned his first save for Boston on Sunday. Regular closer Alfredo Aceves is suspended for the rest of the series and Andrew Bailey was getting the day off.