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Dice-K, Red Sox Return Home For Clash With Mariners

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Daisuke Matsuzaka (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Daisuke Matsuzaka (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Around Fenway

BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox (11-13), fresh off a successful 6-3 road trip, are set to host the Seattle Mariners for a three-game weekend series beginning Friday.

The Sox salvaged the final game of their series with the Orioles on Thursday night, winning 6-2 behind a strong pitching performance from Jon Lester. The lefty went eight strong innings, giving up just two runs to improve to 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA this year. He also improved to 14-0 in his career against the O’s.

Carl Crawford sprinkled in a couple 2-for-4 efforts in the Angels series last week (a series that the Red Sox swept four straight out in Anaheim), but he’s still struggling overall. He enters Friday’s game with a .160 batting average and just five extra-base hits this season.

Adrian Gonzalez, meanwhile, is beginning to heat up again. He clubbed two doubles as part of a 3-for-5 effort Thursday against the Orioles, and is now hitting .306 with 11 RBI.

Pitching Matchups For This Weekend’s Series:

The Red Sox will send a couple of starters (Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey) coming off back-to-back dominant outings to the hill in the first two games of the series. Clay Buchholz, who has scuffled a bit as of late, will oppose reigning Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez on Sunday afternoon.

Friday 7:10 p.m.

  • LHP Jason Vargas (0-2, 5.53) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-2, 4.09)

Saturday 7:10 p.m.

  • RHP Doug Fister (1-3, 3.19) vs. RHP John Lackey (2-2, 6.35)

Sunday 1:35 p.m.

  • RHP Felix Hernandez (3-2, 3.32) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (1-3, 5.33)
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