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Bannister to make first Fenway start

Bannister to make first Fenway start

Rookie Brian Bannister has never pitched at Fenway Park, which can be a daunting venue for any pitcher, young or old. But Bannister is looking forward to it.

"Especially with parks like Yankee Stadium coming up on its last year, with these historic parks your opportunities are limited. So many historic games have been played in these places that it just adds to [the attraction]," Bannister said.

Fenway has been a tough spot for the Royals. Since 2003, they are 3-12 at The Fens. This is the first meeting of the clubs since the opening-of-the-season series in Kansas City. The Royals won on Opening Day but lost the next two games.

Bannister will be matched against another rookie, lefty Kason Gabbard, recently recalled from the Minors.

"It'll be interesting to stand on the mound and realize how many other pitchers have been there," Bannister said.

Sure, like Babe Ruth or Walter Johnson or a pretty good left-hander named Floyd Bannister.

Brian Bannister comes by his love of old parks naturally. He spent a lot of time with his father at old Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Brian Bannister (5-5, 3.71 ERA)
After reeling off a 5-1 record and being named American League Rookie of the Month in June, Bannister ran into a first-inning firecracker on the Fourth of July when the Mariners jumped on him for four runs. But Bannister, an intelligent pitcher, quickly made adjustments and followed that with six shutout innings. He'll make this start after an 11-day rest period, so it'll be interesting to see if he shows signs of rust.

BOS: LHP Kason Gabbard (2-0, 4.87 ERA)
Though he didn't get a decision in his last start, Gabbard was on his game against Detroit on July 7. He allowed two runs and only three hits in 6 1/3 innings in Boston's 13-inning loss. His command of his fastball was much improved from his previous starts, so he was able to use the pitch effectively to set up his breaking pitches. It was Gabbard's fourth start of the season, and third since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 26.

Players to watch
Can any of these Royals break out of their Fenway funk? David DeJesus is 6-for-40 (.150); Mark Grudzielanek is 4-for-24 (.148), and Mark Teahen is 4-for-20 (.200). Yep, they're the first three hitters in the lineup.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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Up next
• Tuesday: Royals (TBD) at Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 10-8, 4.47), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Royals (Odalis Perez, 4-8, 5.68) at Red Sox (Julian Tavarez, 5-7, 5.15), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day

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

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