No Slowing Down

Daisuke Matsuzaka has shown no lingering effects from a recent bout with the flu.

The Boston Red Sox right-hander looks to remain perfect while trying for another strong outing against the Detroit Tigers when the teams open a four-game set Monday night at Comerica Park.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Boston -106 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 76% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -106 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.

Matsuzaka (4-0, 2.52 ERA) allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings, but didn't factor in the decision of Boston's 2-1 win over Toronto on Wednesday. It was his first start since missing a scheduled April 23 appearance because of flu-like symptoms.

"I was able to do my minimum required job as a starter and the team got the win," Matsuzaka told the team's official Web site.

The first-place Red Sox (20-13) are 6-0 this season when Matsuzaka starts. He's allowed 20 hits over 35 2-3 innings and also beat Detroit 5-0 in Boston's home opener April 8.

Matsuzaka yielded four hits and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings in that contest to improve to 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in three starts versus the Tigers (14-18), who dropped two of three from Boston in that series.

"He looked confident, very aggressive," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Matsuzaka. "I think we've seen him three times. That's the best I've seen him against us."

Matsuzaka looks to help Boston to a fourth straight victory after it concluded a three-game home sweep of Tampa Bay with a 7-3 victory Sunday. The Red Sox have won five of their last six contests since losing five in a row.

Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs as Boston outscored Tampa Bay 26-10 over the weekend. Youkilis was 4-for-12 with four RBIs versus the Tigers last month, but is 0-for-12 lifetime with five strikeouts against Detroit's scheduled Monday starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman.

It's uncertain if designated hitter David Ortiz will return for Boston after being scratched from Sunday's lineup due to knee soreness. Ortiz is 8-for-17 with four RBIs in his last four games to boost his average from .172 to .216.

Bonderman (2-2, 3.86) takes the ball looking to help the Tigers avoid a fourth straight loss after they fell 7-6 at Minnesota on Sunday. Detroit was swept in the three-game set after sweeping a road series from the New York Yankees.

The right-hander allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 6-2 win over the Yankees on Wednesday.

"If I can get the ball over the plate, I'm good right now," Bonderman, who has walked 23 batters and struck out 18, told the Tigers' official Web site. "I'm not getting beat up. I'm just walking too many guys."

The right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.35 ERA versus Boston and recorded his first win of 2008 after allowing two runs in five-plus innings during the Tigers' 7-2 win against the Red Sox on April 9.

The last-place Tigers blew a 6-0 first-inning lead to finish 3-3 on the trip. Curtis Granderson and Edgar Renteria each went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday for Detroit, which allowed Minnesota to score four runs in the bottom of seventh inning after Carlos Guillen's error.

Granderson, who hit his 15th career leadoff homer Sunday, was on the disabled list with a hand injury when the Tigers faced Boston last month. He is 3-for-7 lifetime with a double and home run against Matsuzaka.

While Granderson is likely to play Monday, Leyland plans to shake up his lineup, but wouldn't specify how after Sunday's loss.

"There will be changes (Monday),'' said Leyland, whose team was outscored 22-8 against the Twins.

Detroit swept a three-game set with Boston from July 6-8 in the teams' most recent series at Comerica.

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