A's open the second half in Boston

A's open the second half in Boston

On Thursday the A's will start an 11-day road trip with a four-game series at Boston.

Esteban Loaiza will make the start for the A's against Jon Lester for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox rank third in runs scored and fourth in batting average in the Major Leagues. Boston is also in first place in the American League East and its pitchers rank eighth in the Majors in opponents batting average

Loaiza is 1-2 with a 6.93 ERA over his past four starts and his ERA ranks seventh highest among American League pitchers with a minimum of 55 innings pitched.

The right-hander is 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA against the Red Sox. In his last start against Boston, the right-hander gave up seven runs over 4 2/3 innings on September 26, 2004.

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Esteban Loaiza (3-5, 6.43 ERA)
In his last start, Loaiza tied a career high by giving up four homers (all solos). He left after 5 1/3 innings against the Angels and gave up four runs on eight hits.

BOS: LHP Jon Lester (4-0, 3.06 ERA)
The 22-year-old has won four of his last five starts after making his Major League debut on June 10. In his last start, Lester held the White Sox to two runs on six hits over six innings.

Player to watch:
David Ortiz is 11-for-26 against Loaiza with three RBIs.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KYCY 1550 AM and KNTS 1220 AM

Up next
• Friday: Athletics (RHP Dan Haren, 6-7, 3.52 ERA) at Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 11-4, 4.75 ERA)
• Saturday: Athletics (LHP Barry Zito, 8-6, 3.29 ERA) at Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 10-3, 3.60)
• Sunday: Athletics (RHP Joe Blanton, 8-8, 4.95 ERA) at Red Sox (RHP Tim Wakefield, 7-8, 4.05 ERA)

Ryan Quinn is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.