Redman tries to finish sweep of Sox

Redman tries to send Royals to Fenway sweep

Now here's something the Royals could pull off for the first time in 10 years: a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The Royals haven't done that since April 26-28, 1996. In the series opener, Tim Belcher beat Roger Clemens, 4-3, with the aid of a Michael Tucker home run. In a 10-0 victory, Kevin Appier pitched seven innings and got a homer and five RBIs from Keith Lockhart. Bob Hamelin's two-run, pinch-hit homer in the ninth made the difference in a 9-7 win that completed the sweep.

Now, with victories in the first two games of this series, the Royals have a shot at it again. Not that it's been easy so far. The Royals had to bounce back to take a 10-9 lead in the ninth inning of Friday night's win, then they required 12 innings to take a 10-4 decision on Saturday night.

The Royals have not swept a series on the road since July 11-13, 2003, at Texas. They've gone 85 straight road series without a sweep.

Left-hander Mark Redman, who has been superb in his last two starts, gets the nod from Royals manager Buddy Bell. Since an 0-4 getaway, Redman has gone 9-4 and made the All-Star team. He's also dropped his ERA from 6.88 to 5.26.

Also on his resume this year was a July 19 gem at Fenway Park, where he worked eight innings but lost, 1-0, to Josh Beckett.

This time, Redman will be opposed by right-hander Julian Tavarez, who has come out of the bullpen to plug a rotation gap. He was a starter in his days with the Cubs and the Marlins.

Pitching matchup
KC: LHP Mark Redman (9-8, 5.26 ERA)
Reliance on a newly installed cut fastball has done wonders for Redman. By using the cutter inside, he's been able to keep hitters from leaning out over the plate and feasting on his changeup. As a result, he's won two straight games, including a shutout against the Twins. In his last 16 innings, Redman has given up just one run -- on a homer by Paul Konerko of the White Sox last Sunday. On July 19 at Boston, he had one of his best outings, holding the Red Sox to one run in eight innings. But Redman lost, 1-0.

BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (2-4, 4.72 ERA)
The right-hander has stepped up after being thrust into the rotation due to a barrage of injuries. Tavarez was brilliant in his last outing against the White Sox, limiting them to six hits and two runs over 6 1/3 innings. He took a no-decision in a game that the Red Sox won on a walk-off homer by Carlos Pena in the 10th inning. This will be the 82nd start of Tavarez's career and his third this season.

Player to watch
David Ortiz can hit just about anybody, right? Well, not Redman, apparently. Ortiz is just 2-for-19 with six strikeouts against Redman.

 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• Channel 38

On radio
• 810 WHB AM

Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Royals (RHP Runelvys Hernandez, 5-9, 6.39) at Indians (LHP Jeremy Sowers, 7-3, 3.35), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday, Royals (LHP Jorge De La Rosa, 4-4, 7.04) at Indians (RHP Jake Westbrook, 12-9, 4.22), 6:05 p.m. CT

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.