KANSAS CITY -- It isn't very often a team faces only left-handed starters in a three-game series, but that is what the Red Sox have on the table during this visit to Kansas City.
So for the second straight night, Kelly Shoppach caught for the Red Sox, while Darnell McDonald played the outfield instead of the left-handed-hitting Ryan Sweeney.
"[Shoppach] swung the bat well last night, and you know, this is a hard-throwing lefty. It should be nice to see," said manager Bobby Valentine.
However, expect Jarrod Saltalamacchia to start behind the plate Wednesday night against lefty Bruce Chen. Josh Beckett pitches the opener of the homestand at Fenway on Thursday, and Valentine likes to pair him with Shoppach, even though Boston will be facing righty Derek Lowe that night.
Sitting Sweeney, who is hitting .368, for two straight days can't be easy. In a small sample size, Sweeney is 1-for-10 against lefties this season. Still, it's hard to imagine he won't start Wednesday.
"It's not really avoiding [Sweeney]," said Valentine. "I'm trying to keep him as fresh as possible, especially with his lower body. We have a string here, so he's going to be asked to play a lot of games in a row. It's kind of interesting, isn't it? Yeah. It's not an easy determination. Actually, Ryan felt good against this kid tonight. [Danny] Duffy is a hard thrower, but I think Ryan can hit anyone.