|Royals at Red Sox Spread, Odds, Public Betting Trends & Matchup|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Monday, 19 May 2008 21:10|
The last time a pitcher made his second major league start for the Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz pitched a no-hitter last September.
The last time the Red Sox took the field, Jon Lester repeated the feat.
Rookie Justin Masterson will have a couple of tough acts to follow when he makes his second big league start against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, as Boston seeks its fifth straight win overall and eighth consecutive victory at Fenway Park.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Boston -142 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -142 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Lester had Boston buzzing on Monday, after the cancer survivor - who was diagnosed with lymphoma less than two years ago - walked two and struck out nine in nine hitless innings in a 7-0 win over the Royals. He was the first Red Sox lefty to throw a no-hitter since Mel Parnell in 1956.
"He's a wonderful kid, not because he threw a no-hitter. He's a good kid because he's a good kid," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Lester. "We're proud of him all the time but to watch him do that tonight was beyond words. I tried to put it into words but it's hard because - what a story."
Masterson (0-0, 1.50 ERA) only gave up two hits in six innings in his debut last month, allowing four walks and a run against the Los Angeles Angels on April 24. But the 23-year-old didn't get a win after Boston's bullpen blew a 3-1 lead.
With Buchholz on the disabled list and the Red Sox rotation in need of reinforcements after a doubleheader Saturday, Masterson is back in the majors despite going 0-3 with a 7.45 ERA in his last four starts for Double-A Portland.
"He's had a few games where, later in the game, he's gotten the ball up over the plate and given up some runs," Francona told his team's official Web site. "Early, he's been very good, very consistent, kind of what we've been accustomed to seeing."
The right-hander is expected to return to the minors after the game to make room for Bartolo Colon, who is slated to make his Red Sox debut Wednesday.
Masterson will try to help the Red Sox (28-19) to their second five-game winning streak this month. With a win, Boston would also move 10 games above .500 for the first time this season while winning eight straight at home for the first time since 2006.
After sweeping Milwaukee over the weekend, the Red Sox - who are 18-5 at Fenway - have now scored 30 runs in their last four games. They only managed five hits Monday, but scored five runs in the third inning and added Jason Varitek's two-run homer in the sixth.
Before facing Lester, the Royals (21-23) had also been hitting well, winning six of their previous seven games and totaling 14 hits in a 9-3 win at Florida Sunday.
All of their hitters cooled off Monday, including Jose Guillen, who had been 8-of-16 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in the previous four contests.
"We're on the wrong part of history," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said.
They'll try to rebound behind Gil Meche (3-5, 5.98), who beat Detroit Thursday, allowing three runs in seven innings. The right-hander hasn't lost to the Red Sox since 2003, going 3-0 with a 2.80 ERA against them in five starts since.
Meche has only faced Boston as a member of the Royals once, winning in his Kansas City debut on opening day in 2007 after allowing one run in 7 1-3 innings. Bet this game.
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