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Red Sox Vs. Twins Lineups: Red Sox Go Right-Handed Against Lefty Francisco Liriano

The Red Sox managed to overcome the hardest matchup of their series, downing Scott Baker with Tim Wakefield on the mound thanks to a ninth-inning rally. Now, with Erik Bedard getting his second start with the Sox, the Boston lineup will get to take on Francisco Liriano in the midst of a very disappointing year for the left-hander.

For the second straight start, Bedard will have Jason Varitek behind the plate. While Tek's experience behind the plate can provide a steadying influence for the newest Sox pitcher, it's becoming difficult to insert his woefully slow bat in the lineup while Jarrod Saltalamacchia continues to heat up offensively. Luckily, though, given both of their splits, it becomes a lot more acceptable against lefties. 

Boston Red Sox (71-43)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Jed Lowrie, SS
  7. Carl Crawford, LF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Darnell McDonald, RF
The Twins will try to counter Bedard with a bottom of the lineup filled with right-handed hitters.

 

Minnesota Twins (51-64)

  1. Ben Revere, CF
  2. Joe Mauer, 1B
  3. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
  4. Jason Kubel, RF
  5. Jim Thome, DH
  6. Danny Valencia, 3B
  7. Delmon Young, LF
  8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
  9. Drew Butera, C

Pitching Matchup: Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.55 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (7-9, 5.03 ERA)

His first outing for the Red Sox may not have come with a quality start (thanks in part due to his own failure to cover first base in the second, eventually costing the Sox an extra run), but Erik Bedard gave Red Sox reason to be excited. He looked very much like his old self, maintaining good velocity and showing that he could snap off his hard-breaking curveball for strikes. He kept the ball in the zone, not allowing a single walk while striking out five, and was generally just hurt by some ground balls-nothing to be ashamed of.

After a big 2010, Francisco Liriano has gone way downhill in 2011. He's already walked more batters than he did last year, despite still being eighty innings away from matching his 2010 total, and has seen a dip in his strikeouts as well. The way he's gone about it of late has been interesting, though. While early in the season he was just producing mediocre outings, of late he's been alternating between 7-inning gems, and disaster starts where he allows more than a run per frame. The balance was heavily in favor of the gems in May and June, when he was held to just eight starts with increased rest inbetween, but ever since he's gotten back on a typical schedule, it's been right back to the disasters.