Luke Hochevar (L), Daisuke Matsuzaka (R)

After winning 8-6 yesterday, the Boston Red Sox look to finish up the homestand with a series win this afternoon in the finale of a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals at historic Fenway Park.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. and the game will be 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. If you can’t catch the television broadcast, you can always listen to it on the Red Sox radio network.

Daisuke Matsuzaka returns from the disabled list to make his 6th start of the 2012 season. In his previous five starts, Matsuzaka is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA. He last faced the Royals in 2010 when he took the loss after allowing three runs in 4.2 innings of work. Dice-K has made three career starts against the Royals and is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA (7 ER/17.1 IP). Two of those starts have come at the Fens where he is 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA (6 ER/10.1 IP).

Luke Hochevar makes his 26th start of 2012 for the Royals this afternoon. In his previous 25 starts, Hochevar is 9-11 with a 4.95 ERA. He last faced the Red Sox last year when he was 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA (6 ER/13 IP). Hochevar has made six career starts against the Red Sox and is 2-4 with a 6.56 ERA.

Click on the read more button below to see today’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day if you’re on the home page.

Here are today’s lineups:

Kansas City Royals56-70 Boston Red Sox61-67
1. Jarrod Dyson CF 1. Scott Podsednik LF
2. Alcides Escobar SS 2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. Alex Gordon LF 3. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
4. Billy Butler DH 4. Cody Ross RF
5. Salvador Perez C 5. James Loney 1B
6. Mike Moustakas 3B 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
7. Lorenzo Cain RF 7. Mauro Gomez DH
8. Eric Hosmer 1B 8. Mike Aviles SS
9. Johnny Giavotella 2B 9. Pedro Ciriaco 3B
Luke Hochevar SP Daisuke Matsuzaka SP

And here is how the hitters have fared against today’s starting pitchers:

Kansas City Royals @ Boston Red Sox batter/pitcher matchups

NOTES: As you can see from the lineup, Dice-K has been activated from the 15-day DL. Pedro Beato was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Dice-K. David Ortiz was placed on the 15-day DL with his heel problem. Ryan Kalish was called up from Pawtucket to take Big Papi’s roster spot.

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

Ross diary: On megadeal, media, fantasy [Cody Ross – espn boston]

Newfound success [boston globe]

It’s a positive start for Loney [boston globe]

Ortiz to mull options with team Monday [boston globe]

Offering strategy on manager [boston globe]

New Dodgers reflective — and also a bit regretful [boston globe]

Unheralded Pedro Ciriaco, mates lead Sox past Royals [boston herald

Stand up for Bobby [boston herald]

DL likely David Ortiz’ next stop [boston herald]

Loney no longer blue following blockbuster [boston herald]

All the guy does is hit [boston herald]

Time to call it for David Ortiz [boston herald]

Sox players taken aback by megadeal [boston herald]

David Ortiz to the DL; injection scheduled in next couple of days [clubhouse insider]

Red Sox new faces beat Royals, 8-6 [csn new england]

Doubront feels ‘pretty good’ after return to mound [csn new england]

Valentine expects to be back next season [csn new england]

Ciriaco, Beato two unlikely August contributors for Red Sox [csn new england]

Loney excited about change of scenery [espn boston]

Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 8, Royals 6 [espn boston]

Mix-and-match Sox come together [espn boston]

Boston Red Sox’s housecleaning just getting started [espn boston]

Olney: ‘Tremendous’ trade for Sox [espn boston]

Brady weighs in on Sox situation [espn boston]

W2W4: Red Sox-Royals, 1:35 p.m. [espn boston]

Will Sox pursue Hamilton? GM Ben hedges [espn boston]

Red Sox put Ortiz back on disabled list [espn boston]

Dice-K returns for matinee against Royals [espn boston]

David Ortiz to DL; Ryan Kalish rejoins Red Sox [extra bases]

Ortiz will get shot in Achilles’, hopes to be back this season [extra bases]

James Loney: ‘I know they’re always trying to build a championship team here’ [full count]

David Ortiz reminds fans: ‘I like to play no matter what the situation is’ [full count]

Closing Time: Red Sox hold on, beat Royals [full count]

John Lackey on Josh Beckett: ‘It had gone too far here for him’ [full count]

Tony La Russa has confidence in Bobby Valentine, Red Sox [full count]

Now, the Cherington era has truly begun [tony massarotti – boston globe]

James Loney Says Fenway Park, Change of Scenery Could Rejuvenate Hitting []

Jose Iglesias ‘Feeling Good’ About Development as Hitter, Consistency as Top Prospect []

Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine Agree Change Was Needed Inside Clubhouse []

Kevin Youkilis Discussions Were Origin of Red Sox’ Mega-Deal With Dodgers, Ben Cherington Says []

Ben Cherington Trying to Avoid Bridge Year in 2013, Could Be Moving Toward Oakland Blueprint []

David Ortiz Likely to Return to Disabled List, Says He Still Wants to Play Despite Red Sox’ Spot in Standings []

Bobby Valentine’s Fifth-Inning Ejection Helps Spark Red Sox Over Royals []

Bobby Valentine Has Endured as Much as Anyone During Trying Season []

Adrian Gonzalez Says Boston Media Didn’t Like He Was ‘Calm Person,’ Blames Fenway for Power Outage []

Which Player That the Red Sox Received From the Dodgers Will Have the Best Major League Career? []

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox Have No Reason to Show Ill Will Toward Each Other After Trade []

Pedro Ciriaco Getting Better and Better As Red Sox’ Season Goes On []

Lackey: Beckett was a ‘good influence’ [projo sox blog]

Dice-K set for return from DL in finale vs. Royals []

Mammoth trade involved input from highest levels []

In time of transition, Loney ‘excited’ to come to Sox []

Beato recalled to reinforce Boston’s bullpen []

Big Papi ‘likely’ headed back to disabled list []

Heated Valentine tossed for arguing call at first []

photo credits: getty images, getty images