Game 69 Preview: Red Sox at Royals

The Red Sox head to Kansas City to face the defending AL Champs tonight for the first of three. Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1 3.55) looks to return to form after getting knocked around against the Blue Jays in his last start in which he gave up 9 runs in just 4 2/3 innings pitched. He will be facing one of the top offenses in the game, and leading the charge is outfielder Lorenzo Cain who has a 9 game hitting streak and batting .343 during that streak. The Royals just recalled Yohan Pino (0-1 0.64) to make the start tonight, replacing Yordano Ventura who was just placed on the DL due to the right ulnar nerve inflammation.

Pablo Sandoval is back in the lineup tonight after he was benched for last night's game. Sandoval currently has hit in 8 straight games and is hitting a very impressive .452 during that streak. Dustin Pedroia however, is not in the lineup tonight and has now missed 3 out of the last 4 games due to knee inflammation. His replacement, Brock Holt, has been the team's hottest hitter over the past 3 games going 8/13 with a homer, two triples and a double.

Here is tonight's Red Sox lineup:

Holt (2B)
Betts (CF)
Ortiz (DH)
Ramirez (LF)
Bogaerts (SS)
Sandoval (3B)
Napoli (1B)
De Aza (RF)
Swihart (C)

Quick Hits:

- The Royals who are atop of the AL Central are currently on a 4 game winning streak, which they are averaging 7 runs per game
- Mookie Betts is 10/18 over his past 5 games after missing a couple due to running into the bullpen wall at Fenway
- Alejandro De Aza is the only Sox player to have faced Royals starter Pino, he's 5/7 against him
- The Red Sox are 3-12 since they last won consecutive games on the road

Have a question for Mike during the game or whenever a baseball discussion is going on, reach out via Twitter: @86flynn