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Red Sox Vs. Royals Lineups: Carl Crawford Sits Again Against Luke Hochevar

The Red Sox will, for the second straight night, be without Carl Crawford, as the struggling left-fielder sits against Luke Hochevar.

It made some sense for Crawford to sit Wednesday night. With a left-hander on the mound, and the trade deadline coming up, the Sox at once managed to not only get Crawford a day off after a truly terrible stretch at the plate, but also to get Yamaico Navarro a chance to showcase himself against a lefty--he would pick up a pair of hits in the game.

Thursday, however, against a right-handed Luke Hochevar who struggles against lefties, his absence is downright conspicuous. Especially when it's Drew Sutton who "picks up the slack" in left.

Boston Red Sox (64-38)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Josh Reddick, RF
  7. Drew Sutton, LF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Yamaico Navarro, SS
The biggest difference in the Royals lineup comes in center field, where Mitch Maier will take over for Melky Cabrera and bat second.

Kansas City Royals (43-61)
  1. Alex Gordon, LF
  2. Mitch Maier, CF
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  5. Jeff Francouer, RF
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Matt Treanor, C
  8. Chris Getz, 2B
  9. Alcides Escobar, SS
Pitching Matchup: Josh Beckett (9-3, 2.07 ERA) vs. Luke Hochevar (6-8, 5.29 ERA)

The Red Sox will have their best man on the mound as they go for a series win against the Royals. Beckett has been nigh-untouchable in his last two outings, throwing 15 innings on 1-run ball with thirteen strikeouts and just the one walk. Like Lester, Beckett should be able to make good use of his improved cutter against the Royals, who just aren't terribly good at hitting them. 

Luke Hochevar is the sort of pitcher that the Red Sox were made to hit: fastball-first righties with bad splits against lefties. He hasn't been on much of a roll lately either aside from a good showing against the Twins. Unfortunately, though, that's exactly the same situation that the Sox faced on Monday against Kyle Davies, and that didn't really work out particularly well for them either.