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Red Sox vs. Royals: John Lackey takes the mound in search of series split

John Lackey will face off against James Shields as the Red Sox try to eke a series split against the Royals.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are out for a series split as they send John Lackey to the mound to take on James Shields Sunday afternoon.

Boston Red Sox (71-48)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Daniel Nava, LF
  6. Mike Napoli, 1B
  7. Stephen Drew, SS
  8. Ryan Lavarnway, C
  9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Starting Pitcher -- John Lackey

Kansas City Royals (60-54)

  1. David Lough, RF
  2. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Alex Gordon, LF
  5. Salvador Perez, C
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Alcides Escobar, SS
  8. Jarrod Dyson, CF
  9. Elliot Johnson, 2B

Starting Pitcher -- James Shields

The Red Sox have been happy to have James Shields out of the division, if quite unhappy to have Wil Myers in it for a long time to come. And, luckily enough, they've caught him coming off of his worst start of the season, having allowed seven runs to the Twins on August 6th. Add in five walks in the preceding outing, and Shields might not be quite right just now.

Of course, he is James Shields, which means if he's sorted things out, this could be a difficult day at the plate for the Red Sox. He held them to just one run in six innings the first time he faced them this season, and has had a remarkably consistent season before August.

Even if Shields is on his game, though, with John Lackey on the mound, there's every chance the Sox will keep this close. The offense has been incredibly stingy behind Lackey, leaving him a hard-luck loser time and again, but all he can do is go out there and keep throwing good innings.

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