Lineups for tonight’s Red Sox-Angels game at Angel Stadium. Boston is without All-Star first baseman Kevin Youkilis for the seventh straight game with a tight lower left side and without American League MVP Dustin Pedroia at second. Pedroia left Sunday’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays with a strained groin.
In their place is Jeff Bailey, who is playing first and batting seventh, and Nick Green, who is playing second and batting ninth. Justin Masterson (2-2, 5.28 ERA) is starting for Boston against Jered Weaver (3-1, 2.66 ERA) – who is fifth in the AL in ERA and coming off his first career complete game against Toronto this past Thursday.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Julio Lugo SS
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Jason Bay LF
5. Mike Lowell 3B
6. J.D. Drew RF
7. Jeff Bailey 1B
8. Jason Varitek DH
9. Nick Green 2B
1. Chone Figgins 3B
2. Maicer Izturis SS
3. Bobby Abreu RF
4. Torii Hunter CF
5. Kendry Morales 1B
6. Mike Napoli DH
7. Juan Rivera LF
8. Howie Kendrick 2B
9. Jeff Mathis C
Starting pitcher Kelvin Escobar’s start in extended spring training Monday in Arizona reportedly went off without a hitch, as Escobar threw 45 pitches in the next step in recovering from right shoulder surgery.
“(Kelvim) threw very well,” Scioscia said. “Everything we’ve heard about it is good right now.”
While Escobar looks on track, for the time being, to come back early next month, Dustin Moseley suffered a setback. Moseley, out since April 18 with a tight right forearm, felt some pain in his neck after a throwing session and will be slowed down while that is addressed, according to Scioscia.
The Angels haven’t officially announced when John Lackey will start in this weekend’s series at Texas, but as far as Lackey’s concerned, he’s ready to come back from his strained right forearm injury after throwing 79 pitches in a rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake Sunday. Although that announcement could come as early as today, Lackey made it known how he feels
“I feel really good, like I’m ready to go,” Lackey said. “I have a good idea of when my body is ready – I’ve been around the block a couple of times.”
Lackey’s position in the rotation could be based on the status of Ervin Santana, who pitched in a rehab start Saturday and threw a bullpen session earlier today, If Santana comes back ready, he would likely be inserted into the rotation Friday while Lackey would be reintroduced Saturday.
“There are a lot of factors that we still have to consider,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We aren’t expecting any setback or anything, but we just want to make sure they are completely ready before we announce anything.”
Entering the current three-game series with the Angels, the Kansas City Royals were as hot as they’ve been in years, winning six in a row and eight of their last nine.
That streak came to an end last night, but 18-12 Kansas City, with its newfound success, is causing Angels centerfielder Torii Hunter to recall his early days with the Minnesota Twins.
“They remind me a lot of my days in Minnesota,” Hunter said. “From 1998 to 2001, we were getting lit up pretty regularly, but we kept working and battling. In 2002 it started to click for us and come together. It seems like that’s happening for them now.”