(Sports Network) - Fenway Park should be buzzing on Friday, as the Boston Red
Sox return home for the first time following one of the most tragic events in
the city's history.
After a harrowing week, especially in the last 24 hours, Boston will begin
a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals.
"I think we feel a sense that we can contribute to a communal spirit and
hopefully create a little bit of a diversion for those affected directly,"
Boston manager John Farrell said. "We're certainly not going to replace what
happened but I think maybe we have a way of helping get back to some sense of
Shortly after the Red Sox' Patriots' Day win over the Tampa Bay Rays,
explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon, killing three
people, while injuring nearly 200 more.
Not long after officials released pictures and videos of the suspects on
Thursday, one of them was killed, while the other remained on the loose,
setting off a wild manhunt, as the city of Boston and its outlying suburbs
essentially sits in lockdown.
The Red Sox, though, return home as the hottest team in baseball following a
three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians. Boston has won six in a row, eight
of its last 10 and sits atop the American League East standings.
Now they may be getting even more help, as designated hitter David Ortiz is
expected to return following a right Achilles injury that has kept him out
"To have his presence in the middle of the order certainly speaks for itself
for the number of years and the success he's had," Farrell said. "I think he
gives us the potential to lengthen our lineup even more and we're certainly
looking forward to seeing him in the clubhouse tomorrow."
Righty Clay Buchholz takes the hill trying for his fourth win. Buchholz has
been terrific through his first three starts, winning all three and pitching
to a 0.41 ERA. Buchholz was brilliant against the Rays on Sunday, as he tossed
eight scoreless innings of two-hit baseball.
Buchholz has faced Kansas City four times and is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty James Shields, who is 1-2
with a 3.43 ERA. Shields went the distance in a loss to Toronto on Saturday,
as he allowed three runs and two hits. He also struck out six and walked
Shields is 8-13 against the Red Sox with a 4.56 ERA in 23 starts.
Kansas City ended Atlanta's 10-game winning streak on Wednesday, as Wade Davis
(2-0) scattered five hits over seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 win. Jeff
Francoeur drove in the lone run in the fourth inning for the Royals, who have
won six of nine.
"We're not swinging the bats as great as we want right now, but, at the same
time, when you got pitching like we do this year, sometimes you just need to
get one run to win a game and today we were able to do that," Francoeur said.
Boston was 4-3 against Kansas City last season.
The Sports Network