Boston (31-22) at Kansas City (19-32)

Rain Currently: Kansas City, MO, US
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri Jun 4, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston Red Sox look to snap a three-game losing streak and pick up some lost ground in the American League East as they open a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

The Red Sox lost 10-7 to the Anaheim Angels on Wednesday for their longest losing streak since losing five straight from May 1-4.

Starter Pedro Martinez made his 300th start and improved his career total to 2,502 strikeouts, tying Christy Mathewson for 25th on the career list. However, he was pounded for seven runs and 11 hits in just five innings.

Anaheim’s Vladimir Guerrero drove in a team-record nine runs for Anaheim, which racked up 17 hits. The Red Sox have been outscored 30-17 during their losing streak.

“It was more Angels hitting, they swung the bats well,” Boston catcher Jason Vartiek said of Wednesday’s loss. “And if it was hit soft it fell, if it was hit hard it fell. They just did the job hitting more so than anything else.”

Boston is now 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East, their biggest deficit in the standings this season.

The Red Sox, who were off on Thursday, are hoping Tim Wakefield can shut down Kansas City in the opener.

The knuckleballer allowed five earned runs and a season-high 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings of Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Wakefield gave up three runs in the second inning and two in the third in his third defeat in five decisions

“I think a lot of it is mechanics,” said Wakefield. “I was getting under the ball, leaving the ball up in the strike zone. They’re a good ballclub and they took advantage of it.”

However, Wakefield, who has gone at least six innings in his last eight starts, settled down nicely after the rocky start.

“You saw different swings later on in the game when he started throwing the ball down and getting more movement on the ball,” catcher Doug Mirabelli said.

The Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 9-6 on Thursday for their sixth win in 10 games.

Carlos Beltran, the AL player of the month in April, had three hits and drove in four runs, helping to erase the memory of a shaky May that saw his batting average drop 51 points.

“It’s nice to see Carlos swinging the bat and starting to get back on track,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “There was never any question that Carlos was going to hit.

“The bats came alive today. That’s the most hits we have had in a while, and it was good to see.”

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Starting Pitchers

T. Wakefield BOS vs. J. Gobble COL
12-10 Record 9-8
4.87 ERA 5.35
116 K 49
63 BB 43
1.38 WHIP 1.35