Monday, August 8, 2011

Red Sox-Twins Preview

David Ortiz may garner attention for his torrid hitting against the Minnesota Twins, but Dustin Pedroia is also making quite an impact.

They'll look to continue that success at the plate and help the AL East-leading Boston Red Soxto a fifth

straight win over the slumping Twins on Tuesday night.

Ortiz spent his first six seasons with the Twins (51-64) before he was signed by Boston as a free agent in 2003 in a move Minnesota has come to regret.

He's hitting .327 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 42 games against his former team. Ortiz powered the Red Sox to an 8-6 victory in Monday's series opener, homering among his four hits and driving in three.

"Of course you get a little excited when you play the team you've played for before," said Ortiz, who has six hits in two games. "But you go with the same intensity against everybody."

Pedroia has also made a habit of beating up on the Twins, particularly in Minnesota, where he has a .439 average with seven RBIs in 14 visits.

He had two hits Monday, and is batting .383 with nine homers and 26 RBIs in 36 games, hitting safely in all but two.

Pedroia and Ortiz have helped Boston win four straight against the Twins during which the Red Sox are batting .342 while averaging 5.7 runs per game.

Erik Bedard (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will make his second start with the Red Sox since being acquired in a seven-player, three-team deal with Seattle on July 31.

The oft-injured left-hander allowed three runs and seven hits with five strikeouts in five innings before leaving without a decision in a 7-3 loss to Cleveland on Thursday. He was much more effective than in his final appearance for the Mariners on July 29, when he was tagged for five runs in 1 1-3 innings of an 8-0 loss to Tampa Bay. Bedard had missed the previous month with a sprained left knee, and has landed on the disabled list at least once in five consecutive seasons.

He's still working his way back from his most recent injury.

"I felt pretty good," Bedard told the Red Sox's official website. "I threw strikes. That's a basic thing coming back and trying to get my pitch count up. That's the most important thing."

Bedard has won his last two starts against the Twins, allowing two runs in 11 innings. He scattered six hits in six innings of a 3-0 win at Target Field on May 25.

The Twins' offense has been punchless during a five-game losing streak, batting .209 while scoring 11 total runs.

Francisco Liriano (7-9, 5.03) may have to make do with minimal run support as he tries to rebound from a difficult outing.

The left-hander struggled against a lineup made up of right-handed hitters Thursday, surrendering seven runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings of a 7-1 loss at Los Angeles.

Of the 11 homers he's allowed this season, 10 have come against right-handers.

That's been a factor in Liriano going 1-3 with a 7.78 ERA in four career starts against Boston. Righties have hit .328 with all three homers and 14 of 17 RBIs in those games.

Liriano, however, got his only victory over the Red Sox at home in impressive fashion on April 15, 2010. He gave up four hits and struck out eight in seven innings of an 8-0 win.

Pedroia is 6 for 10 off Liriano.

Minnesota's Jim Thome, two homers shy of 600, has one in 18 at-bats against Bedard.

No comments:

Post a Comment