American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, August 25th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (55-69) at Boston Red Sox (60-66), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jeremy Guthrie (2-3, 3.23)
Boston - Aaron Cook (3-7, 4.79)
(Sports Network) - With the blockbuster trade finally completed, the Boston
Red Sox will attempt to focus on the task at hand as it entertains the Kansas
City Royals at Fenway Park on Saturday.
The Red Sox sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and
cash to the Los Angleles Dodgers. For Boston, the transaction is more than
likely meant to provide the club with some financial flexibility moving
forward, seeing as how they are essentially out of the playoff race as they
sit 13 1/2 games out of contention in the American League East.
In return, the Red Sox received first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen
Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus and two players to be named later.
Boston managed to snap a four-game slide yesterday with a 4-3 victory over
Kansas City. Pedro Ciriaco and David Ortiz both knocked in a pair of runs for
Boston, while Mauro Gomez filled in at first base for Gonzalez, who was a late
"That was one of the signs that something was going down," said Ortiz, who was
activated from the disabled list before the game. "When you get to be taken
out of the lineup it's for protection. But there's nothing done yet, we've got
to wait until [Saturday]."
Boston starter Jon Lester picked up his eighth win of the campaign as he
allowed three runs on six hits and four walks, striking out six over seven
innings of work. Andrew Bailey came in during the eighth inning and threw a
total of just 15 pitches to register his first save of the season.
Lester, who is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA in the month of August, is finally seeing
his season begin to turn around.
"Now I'm just winning, and winning cures everything," Lester said. "I've been
feeling good with the adjustments we've made and how we've made adjustments as
far as my pitch selection and coming after guys. I feel like I was headed in
the right direction five, six starts ago. I've got to keep plugging away."
As for the Royals, a team which is 14 games under .500 yet somehow still in
third place in the AL Central, starter Bruce Chen gave up three earned runs on
eight hits through six innings, fanning five, be he failed to factor into the
decision. Instead it was Kelvin Herrera who was handed the loss, his second of
the season, as he permitted one run on two hits and recorded just a single out
after coming in for Chen.
Eric Hosmer delivered his 12th home run of the season for Kansas City, a solo
shot, while Alex Gordon added a pair of hits and knocked in a run as well.
Seeking his third win in as many decisions, Jeremy Guthrie heads to the mound
for the Royals this evening. The right-hander has been beaten up quite a bit
this season and is currently seven games under .500 even though his last three
outings have been rather strong.
Since winning two in a row against the likes of Chicago and Oakland, Guthrie
appeared against the same White Sox club on Sunday and allowed just a pair of
runs on two hits and a walk, yet neither runs were earned so his ERA actually
dropped as he failed to record the decision in what turned into a 5-2 home win
for the club. Guthrie struck out five in 7 2/3 innings of action.
A product of Stanford, Guthrie is making his 20th all-time appearance against
Boston but has just a 3-8 mark to go with a 4.50 ERA in previous outings.
As for the Red Sox, with Beckett gone they will now start right-hander Aaron
Cook in his place tonight. Cook, though, has dropped two straight starts and
six of his last seven decisions.
Cook was last in action against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday,
yielding five runs -- four earned -- on 11 hits over five innings of a 5-3
setback. He fell to 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA on the season, including a 6.25 ERA
over his past six outings and the difference versus the Angels turned out to
be a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo in the fifth inning.
"I felt like I was making pitches, they were just finding holes with those
singles," Cook said. "They were able to string together a few of those in the
holes and then I left one pitch up on the 3-2 to Trumbo and he hit it about as
hard as you can hit a baseball."
The 33-year-old Cook has faced the Royals twice before in his career, going
0-1 while giving up seven earned runs over 9 2/3 innings.
With the victory last night the Red Sox have knotted the season series with
Kansas City at two games apiece.
08/25 17:08:10 ET