Afternoon Red Sox Delight – 8/8

After taking two-of-three in the home of NASA, the Boston Red Sox head to the land of barbeque for their next four games. Tonight they'll kick it off with the first game of four against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. The game will broadcast on NESN in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the Royals television market, you can catch the game on Fox Sports Kansas City.  And if you can't catch the game on television, you can always listen on the 2013 Red Sox Radio Network.

Jon Lester puts his spikes in the slab for the 24th time in 2013. In his previous 23 starts, Lester is 10-6 with a 4.52 ERA. He last faced the Royals in 2012 when he went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA (4 ER/12 IP). He's made nine career starts against the home squad and is 6-2 with a 1.94 ERA. Three of those starts have come at Kauffman Stadium where he is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA (6 ER/16 IP).

One time member of the Red Sox, Bruce Chen, makes his fifth start (24th appearance) of 2013 for the Royals. In his previous 23 appearances (four starts), Chen is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA. He allowed two hits in 2/3 of an inning against the Red Sox back on April 21st. He's made 19 career appearances (11 starts) against the visiting nine and is 4-6 with a 5.59 ERA.

To see today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups as well as the links from the local media, please click on the continue reading button below if you're on the home page.

Boston Red Sox70-46 Kansas City Royals58-53
1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF 1. Lorenzo Cain CF
2. Shane Victorino RF 2. Eric Hosmer 1B
3. Dustin Pedroia 2B 3. Billy Butler DH
4. Jonny Gomes LF 4. Alex Gordon LF
5. Stephen Drew SS 5. Miguel Tejada 2B
6. Mike Napoli DH 6. Justin Maxwell RF
7. Daniel Nava 1B 7. Mike Moustakas 3B
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 8. Brett Hayes C
9. Brock Holt 3B 9. Alcides Escobar SS
Jon Lester SP Bruce Chen SP


As you can see from the lineup, Nava has been activated from the paternity list. To make room on the 25-man roster for him, Steven Wright has been optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Here is how the hitters have fared against the starting pitchers during the regular season over their careers.

Boston Red Sox @ Kansas City Royals batter/pitcher matchups

More links will be added if/when they become available so please check back often.

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Daniel Bard is still banking on helping these Red Sox [rob bradford – weei.com]

De La Rosa showed his stuff in Houston [csn new england]

Is this Sox season a success no matter the outcome? [csn new england]

Notes: Nava back from paternity leave [csn new england]

Nava returns from paternity leave [espn boston]

Napoli dropped to sixth in lineup [espn boston]

Napoli dropped in order [extra bases]

Larry Lucchino on D&C: ‘It’ll be great when [Xander Bogaerts’] time comes’ [full count]

Cardiac Kids redux: Top 10 Red Sox victories of 2013 [full count]

Dennis Eckersley on M&M: Koji Uehara ‘magical’; Jon Lester not a No. 1 starter [full count]

Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia Rank Among Best of Bearded Red Sox (Photos) [nesn.com]

Daniel Nava Reflects on First Days of Fatherhood After Returning to Red Sox (Video) [nesn.com]

Top prospect Henry Owens getting "silly swings" with newly refined curveball [projo sox blog]

Peavy's evolution as a pitcher has led to renewed success [projo sox blog]

Bogaerts' immense power could force position change [redsox.com]

Sox looking to stay hot in opener with Royals [redsox.com]

Peavy perfect fit for playoff-contending Red Sox [redsox.com]

Jon Lester and the quest to reclaim a pitching identity [alex speier – weei.com]

Did anyone predict this level of success for the Red Sox? Let's go back and look … [touching all the bases]

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photo credits: getty images, getty images