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Monday’s Red Sox-Royals matchups: Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Luke Hochevar

08.27.12 at 11:15 am ET

Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his first start since July 2 on Monday afternoon when the Red Sox host the Royals in their series finale at Fenway Park.

Matsuzaka will be activated for the start after occupying the 15-day disabled list for a neck injury. Matsuzaka hasn’€™t pitched for the Red Sox since that July 2 outing, when he lasted only one inning against the Athletics after giving up four hits, five runs (all earned), two home runs and a pair of walks.

Matsuzaka, who is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in five starts with the Red Sox this season, is hopeful that this time around nets some better results. And if his last start for Triple-A Pawtucket is any indication, he may just do that. On Thursday, he went seven scoreless innings and allowed just one hit to Rochester.

Tommy John surgery put Matsuzaka, whose contract expires after this season, on the DL to begin the year and he didn’€™t make his first start of the season until June 9 against the Nationals. The Japanese righty hasn’€™t won a major league game since May 8, 2011, against the Twins, and he’€™ll try to end the drought against the Royals, who he is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA against in three career starts. His last start against them came on May 27, 2010, when he allowed eight walks and three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 4-3 loss.

Luke Hochevar will take the hill for the Royals and will try to even the series by duplicating the performance from his last start. On Tuesday, the righty may have put together his best start of the season, pitching eight scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out 10 batters. He didn’€™t pick up the win, though, and was dealt a no-decision after the Royals topped the Rays, 1-0, in extra innings.

Hochevar’€™s last start isn’€™t indicative of how his season has gone, however. Entering Monday, he is 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA. He’€™s started six career games against the Red Sox, going 2-4 with a 6.56 ERA.

Royals vs. Matsuzaka (RHP)

Alex Gordon (6 plate appearances): .250 BA/.500 OBP/.250 SLG, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Jeff Francoeur (5): .750/.800/1.500, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk

Billy Butler (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 2 walks

Red Sox vs. Hochevar (RHP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (20 plate appearances): .333 BA/.400 OBP/.556 SLG, 2 triples, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

David Ortiz (15): .250/.400/.500, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (15): .417/.533/.750, 1 double, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Scott Podsednik (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 walk

Ryan Lavarnway (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Mike Aviles (2): .500/.500/.500

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Luke Hochevar, Red Sox, royals
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