After winning three straight versus the Indians the Sox will now start a 2 game series at home then 2 games on the road in Philly. Former Philliy Shane VIctorino will not start with the Sox in this series as he is on the DL with hamstring and back injuries. Jonathan Paplebon will be making his first trip to Boston since being let go by the team at the end of 2011 and the Phillies hope to see him hit the mound at some point. Another Red Sox injury that just occurred was Will Middlebrooks who will now hit the bench for about 2 weeks as he hopes to just relax and get back into full form. Tonight's game will be the first interleague matchup for the Red Sox this season. The Phillies have their own issues, as catcher Carlos Ruiz is on the 15-day DL, and Chase Utley was just placed there as well, and isn't expected back until about mid-June. Last year the Sox took 2 out of the 3 of the greetings between these clubs as they hope to still be able to take advantage of this Philly lineup.

Game 1: Alfredo Aceves (1-1) vs. Tyler Cloyd (1-0)

We here at Matter of Sox clearly do not like Alfredo Aceves. Sorry, ALL Red Sox fans do not like Alfredo Aceves. After being called up from AAA (might as well be playing softball) Aceves will get the start for Clay Buchholz who has been experiencing soreness in his collarbone.  "There's no real concern or harm to the throwing shoulder, but it's irritating enough that he doesn't feel 100 percent and really precautionary, more than anything," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Buchholz. "We've backed him out of it." Aceves has compiled an 8.20 ERA in six appearances (three starts) this season. He hasn't started a game since April 23, when he surrendered eight runs (seven earned) in a 13-0 loss to Oakland. To face him will be Tyler Cloyd who is filling in for Roy Halladay. Cloyd has yet to encounter the Red Sox in any of his eight career starts. Cloyd -- 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts this year.  Cloyd has yet to surrender a home run in the big leagues this season. He allowed nine of them at Triple-A and eight in 33 innings for the Phillies last season. First baseman Ryan Howard did not start on Sunday due to an ailing left knee, though he did hit into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He could also be held out of the lineup tonight, though the Phils will have the designated hitter spot available. It is pretty simple to say that both pitchers have big shoes to fill coming into today's game but with both offenses coming in it could be a pretty high scoring game. Basically, the Phillies will be thanking John Farrell for evening this game out a bit tonight.


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Prediction: Phillies win 7-4 and Aceves out by the 5th

 

​Game 2: Cliff Lee (5-2) vs. Ryan Dempster (2-5)

After a night of some red hot Red Sox offense they will have a new challenge tonight as they will have to face Cliff Lee who is coming off a spectacular start last week! Lee threw his first shutout since Sept. 5, 2011, and the 12th of his career in Wednesday's 3-0 victory over Miami. He allowed just two hits and struck out five Marlins. That win moved the veteran to a 5-2 record with a 2.48 ERA this season as he's once again looking like an All-Star. "The last three innings, I felt as good as I have in a long time," he said. "Hit the ball right where I wanted. The first six innings was kind of trying to mix speeds and locate somewhat, but I just felt more crisp after the sixth. The Sox will send Ryan Dempster to the mound who has had some struggle over his past few starts. Now Dempster has gone 0-3 with a 7.78 ERA over his last four starts. Farrell said Dempster has been dealing with a cramping sensation in his groin that may be affecting his performance. "The fact is he's not only not worked downhill, it's taken away the shape and execution of his secondary pitches," Farrell said. "When he was right or when he was throwing well he'd be able to go to the slider or that cutter at any time in the count, or particularly on 3-2 for a number of strikeouts." The Sox offense has been hot lately getting high number of runs including Dustin Pedroia who has yet to see any bench time this year being the only Sox player to have played all 52 games so far. 

 

Prediction: Phillies win 5-3

 

Game 3: John Lackey (3-4) vs. Kyle Kendrick (4-3)

As the teams move stadiums for this matchup the final two games will be played in Philadelphia. The Red Sox will send John Lackey to the mound for this game after coming off two great starts. Against the Indians, he gave up one unearned run and two hits in seven innings while recording eight strikeouts and three walks. The right-hander hasn't given up an earned run in his previous two starts and between those starts are 13 innings of just 3 hits allowed. While the Sox pitching seems well David Ortiz will only be put in to start one of the two games while being a pitch hitter in the other. With the Red Sox getting their first taste of National League baseball this season, Ortiz will play first base in one game this set. While he doesn't play it often, Ortiz has logged more than 250 games there in his career. He's played in 26 games at first base since 2007 and made just one error. Ortiz is not the only offense on this team right now as everybody has been joining the hit parade over the past few games and hope to again tonight. This offense will have to face Kyle Kendrick who has been rattled a bit over his past few starts. Since starting the season with a 4-1 record and 2.47 ERA, Kendrick has allowed nine runs in 11 innings over his last two starts. As the Sox offense faces the Phillies, Jackie Bradley Jr. has been brough back to the MLB roster starting Wednesday and may see a pitch hit opportunity at some point in these two games.

 

Prediction: Red Sox win 5-2

 

Game 4: Franklin Morales (0-0) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (3-0) 

Making his season debut for the Sox after coming off an injury Franklin Morales looks to bring the Sox back to evening the series before heading to New York. Morales started nine games for Boston in 2012, going 3-3 with a 4.14 ERA. Morales also made just under 40 appearances out of the bullpen. When Morales was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, manager John Farrell intended to use him out of the bullpen, but continued irritation to Clay Buchholz's AC joint in his shoulder forced Boston to shuffle the rotation. Jon Lester, Thursday's scheduled starter, was pushed to Friday. To face him will be Jonathan Pettibone, a rookie making his eighth start. The 22-year-old has been impressive in 2013, posting a 3-0 record with a 3.21 ERA. Opponents are batting .278 against Pettibone and no team has scored more than three runs against him. Tonight we will possibly see Ortiz take the field at 1B giving Napoli the night off unless they pitch hit him at some point for Morales. Jacoby Ellsbury has raised his average 15 points since Saturday, totaling eight hits over the last four games. Struggling through the beginning of May, Ellsbury has been quite happy with his success the week. 

 

Prediction: Red Sox win 5-3