ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 19:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the first inning at the game on July 19, 2008 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

Having overslept this morning and missed the morning Boston Red Sox roundup, I have decided to combine the post with the afternoon one. Things may look out of sorts for today but it’s a temporary thing.

Last night at the Fens, John Smoltz went out and gave the Red Sox five good innings as he left with a 9-1 lead. And for the second time in three of his starts, the Red Sox bullpen decided that they wanted to have the game be a little too close for comfort.

It does seem as though as the All-Star break can’t come soon enough for the bullpen. Justin Masterson was awful again last night as was Manny Delcarmen. Daniel Bard stepped in though and kept the Red Sox in the game.

Could it be that after the All-Star break that we see Bard in an expanded role? He’s one of the only bullpen guys throwing the ball well as of late. I also wonder now if the Red Sox will look for another arm down there at the trade deadline. Of course, we’ve got a few weeks for that as well.

This afternoon, the Red Sox look to avoid a split with the Royals before the All-Star break.

The game this afternoon will start at 1:35 PM EDT and will be televised in the Red Sox television market on NESN. If you live in the Royals’ television market, you can catch the game on FOX Sports Kansas City. And if the television isn’t your cup of tea, you can catch the game on one of the many affiliates of the Red Sox Radio Network.

Josh Beckett goes for career win No. 100 this afternoon. He’s made 17 starts this season and is 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA. He’s faced the Royals five times in his career and is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA.

Bruce Chen starts for Trey Hillman’s mustache this afternoon. Chen’s made just 3 starts for the Royals this season and is 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA. He’s made 13 appearances (6 starts) in his career against the Red Sox and is 3-4 with a 4.54 ERA. He’s made five appearances (1 start) at Fenway Park and is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA.

Continue reading for lineups and batter/pitcher matchups.

Here are the lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Kansas City Royals37-50

Red Sox logo53-34

1. David DeJesus RF 1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Mitch Maier CF 2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. Billy Butler 1B 3. Kevin Youkilis 3B
4. Mark Teahen 3B 4. David Ortiz DH
5. Jose Guillen LF 5. Jason Bay LF
6. Brayan Pena DH 6. Jason Varitek C
7. Alberto Callapso 2B 7. Rocco Baldelli RF
8. John Buck C 8. Nick Green SS
9. Tony Pena, Jr. SS 9. Aaron Bates 1B
Bruce Chen SP Josh Beckett SP

Here is how the hitters have fared against this afternoon’s starting pitchers:

Kansas City Royals vs Boston Red Sox batter/pitcher matchups

For more slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Providence Journal websites.

And if the enemy papers are more you flavor, you can check out the Kansas City Star and Topeka Capital-Journal websites.