Red Sox-Royals Preview
Their three-game losing streak behind them, the Boston Red Sox
look to win their first series this season. Right-hander Clay
Buchholz would like nothing more than to help them do that.
Boston tries to win two of three from the host Kansas City
Royals on Sunday when Buchholz makes his season debut.
With manager Terry Francona using a different lineup for the
first time this season, Boston matched a season high with 12 hits
and had a season-best five home runs in Saturday’s 8-3 win. It was
the Red Sox’ first win since a 9-7 season-opening victory over the
Making his first start this season Saturday, Jeremy Hermida had
his first home run with his new team in the fifth inning and Red
Sox captain Jason Varitek hit the next pitch out of the park.
Varitek added a solo shot in the ninth for his 10th career
“It’s nice to contribute, absolutely,” he said.
Varitek, though, will likely be on the bench Sunday with Victor
Martinez expected to catch Buchholz’s season debut.
Buchholz takes the ball nine days after his final spring
training outing, but he has no problem with waiting for his first
start. He didn’t get called up from Triple-A Pawtucket last season
“They told me with a week to go in spring training, what I was
doing and I didn’t care about the wait in between,” Buchholz told
the Red Sox’ official Web site. “I get a start in the five-day
rotation. I was happy that they were giving me the ball.”
Buchholz is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in two career starts versus
The Royals (2-3) will likely counter with veteran right-hander
Gil Meche. Placed on the disabled list earlier this month with
shoulder bursitis, Meche had an 81-pitch outing Tuesday in
Surprise, Ariz., against Royals minor leaguers.
“He’s built up over 80 (pitches), so we’ll keep him under a 100
probably,” manager Trey Hillman said Saturday.
Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth was shut down Saturday with a
stiff right shoulder and could be placed on the disabled list
Sunday to make room for Meche.
Meche went 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 23 starts last season, but
back and shoulder injuries limited him to four appearances after
the All-Star break.
In his final start before last season’s midsummer classic, Meche
was tagged for eight runs and six hits over 3 2/3 innings in a 15-9
loss in Boston on July 11.
With Meche on a pitch count, the Royals’ bullpen will likely
have to improve. After Kansas City relievers went three scoreless
innings in Friday’s 4-3 series-opening win, they yielded four runs
in 2 1/3 innings Saturday after ace Zack Greinke was pulled. The
Royals’ bullpen has blown three saves and an 11.05 ERA.
First-year Royal Rick Ankiel looks to continue his hot start at
the plate after getting two hits Saturday and raising his batting
average to .400. He is 6 for 8 with two doubles, a homer and four
RBIs in the series.
With Martinez taking over his DH spot Saturday, David Ortiz will
likely return to the lineup Sunday. He is 9 for 24 with four homers
and 10 RBIs lifetime versus Meche.