|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Twins matchups: Erik Bedard vs. Francisco Liriano||08.09.11 at 11:44 am ET|
The Red Sox’ six-game road trip continues Tuesday night with their second game against the Twins. The Red Sox are battling the Yankees for the AL East, and they’ll look to take care of business against a fourth-place Twins team that’s 13 games under .500 and has the third-worst run differential in the majors (-110).
Erik Bedard will make his second start for the Red Sox. Still rebuilding arm strength after a knee injury, Bedard might be on another limited pitch count Tuesday. In his first start with the Red Sox, he gave up three earned runs in five innings against the Royals in a game the Red Sox eventually lost. Bedard did not factor in the decision, throwing just 70 pitches, 49 for strikes. He recorded three 1-2-3 innings but struggled through the second and third, giving up seven hits and failing to cover first on a ground ball to the right side of the infield.
The Twins will answer with Francisco Liriano, who is 7-9 with a 5.03 ERA. Liriano has alternated wins and losses over his last four decisions, and his ERA has gone virtually unchanged in the last month. The Angels rocked Liriano in his last start, scoring seven earned runs on 10 hits in five innings on Aug. 4.
Bedard is a career 2-5 with a 4.18 ERA against the Twins, but he pitched a six-inning shutout at Target Field earlier this season. The Twins bat a combined .232 against Bedard, with a paltry .283 slugging. Only Jim Thome has homered off Bedard, and Bedard has given up just three total extra-base hits.
Liriano has always struggled against the Red Sox. He is 1-3 in four career starts, with a 7.78 ERA and .296 opponent batting average. He has not faced the Red Sox this season, but went 1-1 against them last season. His numbers at Target Field — 10-9, 4.06 ERA — are slightly better.
Joe Mauer is Minnesota’s best hitter against Bedard, batting .313 with a double and two walks. Michael Cuddyer is batting .300, and he leads the Twins with a .423 on-base percentage. He has also struck out 10 times.
Dustin Pedroia has Liriano’s number, hitting .600 off him. Pedroia’s .424 average against lefties this season makes him that much more dangerous.
Kevin Youkilis is the only Red Sox hitter to homer off Liriano, batting .364 with .909 slugging and six RBIs. Jacoby Ellsbury is a .400 hitter.
Red Sox vs. Liriano
Mike Aviles (18 plate appearances): .278 BA/.278 OBP/.500 SLG
Carl Crawford (12): .273/.333/.273
Dustin Pedroia (12): .600/.583/.700
Kevin Youkilis (11): .364/.364/.909, HR, 6 RBIs
Marco Scutaro (9): .111/.111/.222
Jacoby Ellsbury (6): .400/.500/.400
Jason Varitek (4): .000/.250/.000
Darnell McDonald and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are a combined 0-for-3 with a walk in five appearances against Liriano.
David Ortiz is 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in three appearances.
Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Reddick and Jed Lowrie have never faced Liriano.
Twins vs. Bedard
Michael Cuddyer (26): .300/.423/.300, 4 RBIs, five walks, 10 strikeouts
Jim Thome (22): .278/.409/.444, HR
Delmon Young (20): .100/.100/.150, 8 strikeouts
Joe Mauer (18): .313/.389/.375
Denard Span (12): .300/3417/.300
Jason Kubel (6): .000/.167/.000
Matt Tolbert (6): .167/.167/.167
Drew Butera and Danny Valencia are a combined 1-for-4 in 4 appearances.
Trevor Plouffe, Jason Repko and Ben Revere have never faced Bedard.
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