Royals-Red Sox Preview
Already with a depleted roster following their blockbuster trade
over the weekend, the Boston Red Sox also may not have David Ortiz
in the lineup for the rest of the season.
They will, however, have Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound for the
first time in nearly two months Monday as they finish a four-game
set against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.
The team is discussing putting Ortiz back on the disabled list
after he aggravated an Achilles strain Friday in his only game
following more than a month on the DL.
The 36-year-old designated hitter, hitting .318 with a
team-leading 23 homers, sat out Saturday and Sunday and may be shut
down again Monday.
“It’s likely that if he doesn’t have a miraculous recovery
(Sunday night), we’ll have a DL situation (Monday),” manager Bobby
Valentine said. “I know David wants to be with the team and he
wants to do what he’s done all year, and that’s to be a major
Boston (61-67) has already moved on without Adrian Gonzalez,
Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto following Saturday’s
megadeal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which unloaded more than
$250 million worth of salary obligations.
The club won’t have to pay Matsuzaka much longer, but it will
try to get a few more starts out of the right-hander in Beckett’s
rotation spot before his contract expires at the end of the
The Red Sox forked over a total of $103 million for the Japanese
right-hander – about half in a posting fee and the other half in a
six-year, $52 million deal – in a move that ended up a major
Matsuzaka (0-3, 6.65 ERA) has battled injuries and inconsistency
throughout his time with Boston, walking 4.3 per nine innings. He’s
made only five starts in the majors this year following Tommy John
surgery and none since July 2, when he allowed five runs and was
removed before recording an out in the second inning at
After that, he went on the DL again with a neck injury. He has
appeared stronger for Triple-A Pawtucket lately, allowing one hit
in seven scoreless innings Tuesday against Rochester.
The Royals (56-70) have waited out his wildness the past. In two
career home starts in the series, Matsuzaka has walked 14 in 10 1-3
innings, including eight in a 4-3 loss May 27, 2010, the last time
he faced Kansas City.
Counterpart Luke Hochevar (7-11, 4.95) has had a different
problem versus the Red Sox, who are hitting .307 against him in six
career matchups. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 6.56 ERA in those
Hochevar, though, is coming off one of the most impressive
outings of his career. He allowed one hit in eight innings of the
Royals’ 1-0, 10-inning win at Tampa Bay on Tuesday, striking out a
season-high 10 in a duel with David Price.
“I felt like tonight was probably the best command that I’ve had
all year with my fastball,” Hochevar said.
Royals pitchers have allowed the Red Sox to hit .370 while
scoring 21 runs in the first three games of this series. Kansas
City rallied from a six-run deficit for a 10-9, 12-inning win
Saturday, but it squandered a two-run advantage in Sunday’s 8-6
James Loney had a game-tying RBI single in his Red Sox debut
after coming over from the Dodgers.
“I’m glad I’m here. It’s one of the best atmospheres in
baseball,” Loney said. “It felt good getting that opportunity,
having a chance to deliver. I just want to keep that up.”