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Red Sox vs. Royals matchups, 4/10

04.10.10 at 5:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox will send Josh Beckett back to the mound for the second time this season Saturday, though the lineup he will be facing won’t be anything near that of the Yankees.

Instead, Beckett will take to the mound at Kauffman Stadium to face the Kansas City Royals. Though the Royals might not be as daunting an opposition offensively, their pitcher will be every bit as good as CC Sabathia, as reigning AL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke will be on the hill for KC.

Greinke went six innings in his first start of the season against Detroit on Monday, allowing 2 runs (one earned) and six hits while striking out four. The Royals couldn’t take advantage of his effort, however, as they ultimately lost the game 8-4.

Greinke only saw the Sox once last season, when he went six innings on September 22, allowing just two hits and racking up five strikeouts, in a 5-1 KC win. He did have some trouble with control, however, as he walked three on the day. In his career, Greinke has started three games against the Sox with a record of 1-2. Despite that, in terms of teams that he has made more than one start against his 2.49 ERA against Boston is second best, trailing only the his efforts vs. the Seattle Mariners, who Greinke has a 3-0 record and 2.14 ERA against in six starts.

Beckett will be trying to rebound from his opening outing of 2010, when he went just 4 2/3 and allowed five earned against the Yankees. More troubling might have been the back-to-back homers he gave up to Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson, as the long ball plagued Beckett at times last season.

Facing the Royals might be just what Beckett needs to find his groove, as he is 5-0 with a 2.03 ERA in seven career starts against KC. Last season Beckett was 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts vs. the Royals, including a complete game shutout at Fenway on July 12. The second performance might have been somewhat deceiving, however, as the Royals had 12 hits off Beckett in his six innings of work on September 23 but could not manufacture runs in a 9-2 Sox win.

Here are the career numbers for each starter against their respective opponent.

Red Sox vs. Zach Greinke

Victor Martinez (45 plate appearances vs. Greinke): .341 average/.400 OBP/.439 slugging, 1 home run, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Marco Scutaro (17): .375/.42/.625, 4 doubles, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (10): .250/.300/.250, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz (10): .100/.200/.300, 4 strikeouts

J.D. Drew (9): .375/.444/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jason Varitek (8): .143/.250/.571, 1 home run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Kevin Youkilis (8): .000/.25/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (7): .400/.571/.600, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Bill Hall (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Lowell (4): .750/.750/1.000, 1 double

Mike Cameron (3): .500/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 walk

Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida have both faced Greinke three times, with the Kansas City righty retiring them each time.

Royals vs. Josh Beckett

Jose Guillen (26 plate appearances against Beckett): .250 average/.269 OPS/.292 slugging, 4 strikeouts

David DeJesus (22): .190/.227/.286, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Jason Kendall (21): .125/.333/.125, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts

Yuniesky Betancourt (14) .462/.500/.923, 1 triple, 1 home run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Billy Butler (11): .182/.182/.182, 5 strikeouts

Scott Podsednik (11): .500/.545/.500. 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Mitch Maier (10): .444/.444/.444, 2 strikeouts

Alberto Callasp (9): .111/.111/.111, 3 strikeouts

Brayan Pena (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 walk

Mike Aviles (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Roman Colon and Chris Getz have faced Beckett two and three times, respectivly, and have been retired by the Sox righty each time. Beckett has never faced Rick Ankiel or Willie Bloomquist.

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