Royals open series vs. Red Sox

Royals tab Hudson to open series vs. Red Sox

The Royals are thankful to be getting away from Comerica Park, which has taken on the look of Death Valley for Buddy Bell's ballclub.

It wasn't so much Comerica, it was the Tigers, who pounded out victory after victory -- some of the heartbreak variety -- there over the weekend.

But if the Royals expect things to ease up, they might be in for trouble. The Red Sox present just as many challenges as the Tigers. Throw in the nightmare that Fenway Park can be, and the Royals are looking at another series that might be as fraught with frustration as the one they left in Motown.

One consolation for the Royals might be that they'll likely be getting infielder Mark Grudzielanek back in the lineup. A veteran bat like Grudzielanek's will be useful against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

Wakefield will step into the slot that right-hander Kyle Snyder, fresh from Triple-A Pawtucket, was supposed to hold down, and that means the Royals aren't likely to fill the Fenway scoreboard with runs.

That's not the best of news for right-hander Luke Hudson, because he'll be facing a Red Sox lineup that can score runs on anybody.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Luke Hudson (2-3, 5.79 ERA)
Hudson pitched impressively in his first start of the year, against Toronto on July 7. He allowed one run and two hits in five innings to pick up the victory. The one-time reliever threw 72 pitches in that outing and stretched out his stamina with a few bullpen sessions over the All-Star break.

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (7-8, 4.05 ERA)
The veteran knuckleballer, despite battling back woes, has been a consistent starter all year for the Red Sox. Wakefield, who had his scheduled start Sunday moved back a day, has won his last three decisions, and he can get back to .500 for the first time since April 9 with a victory in this one.

Player to watch
Grudzielanek has sat out the past four games, and the Royals should be welcoming his steady play back into their lineup. After struggles in their series with the Tigers, the Royals can use the stability the veteran can provide.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• RSTN

On radio
• WHB AM 810

Up next
• Tuesday: Royals (RHP Brandon Duckworth, 1-2, 5.40) at Red Sox (LHP Jon Lester, 4-0, 2.89),
6:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Royals (RHP Mark Redman, 6-4, 5.38) at Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 11-5, 5.12),
12:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Angels (LHP Ervin Santana, 11-3, 3.88) at Royals (LHP Jimmy Gobble, 3-3, 4.58), 7:10 p.m. CT

Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.