From Adam Rubin:

Series preview: Mets at Red Sox

May 22, 2009

METS (21-19, 2nd place/NL East) at RED SOX (25-16, 2nd place/AL East) Friday: LHP Johan Santana (5-2, 1.36) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 12.79), 7:10 p.m. (SNY, WFAN, WADO)Saturday: RHP Mike Pelfrey (4-1, 4.61 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (4-2, 5.85), 7:10 p.m. (MLB NETWORK, SNY, WFAN, WADO)Sunday: RHP Tim Redding (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (5-2, 3.59), 7:10 p.m. (TBS, PIX11, WFAN, WADO)***RED SOX SHORT HOPSmets_logo.jpgLeft fielder Jason Bay, a free-agent-to-be next offseason, belted his 13th homer Thursday, in the first inning off Toronto’s Robert Ray, moving him within one of American League leader Carlos Pena. Bay’s last 11 longballs all have come with men on base, the longest streak by a Red Sox player in team history, topping 10 straight with bases occupied by Kevin Youkilis in 2008 and Tony Conigliaro in 1966. He can share the major-league record streak of 12 owned by Hank Aaron (1970) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1990) if his next homer comes with a teammate on base. Bay also has started every game this season, the lone Red Sox player who is 41-for-41. … Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his first start since April 14 on Friday opposite Johan Santana. His return moves Justin Masterson back to the bullpen. Matsuzaka had a 1.59 ERA in 11 2/3 innings over three rehab appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket. … Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 16 games Thursday, the longest active streak in the majors. His career-high is 18, established last September. Ellsbury went to college with Mets Triple-A reliever Eddie Kunz at Oregon State. Ellsbury tied a major-league record and set a franchise record with 12 outfield putouts in a nine-inning game Wednesday against Toronto. … Youkilis, the cleanup hitter/Gold Glove first baseman, who was suffering from a strained left oblique, was activated from the disabled list Wednesday and promptly went 4-for-9 in two games to lift his average to .402. Youkilis had been 0-for-6 in two rehab games against Buffalo, the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona suggested he "shook off the rust there." Former Met farmhand Gil Velazquez was sent to Pawtucket to clear room. … David Ortiz snapped a 148 at-bat homerless drought when he went deep for the first time this season on Wednesday. Big Papi is hitting only .211 with 18 RBI in 142 at-bats in ’09. … Like the Mets minus Jose Reyes, the Red Sox also have struggled in the first at shortstop without Jed Lowrie, who had surgery on his left wrist a month ago. Sox shortstops Julio Lugo and Nick Green have combined for 12 errors, although at least they’re hitting .293 and .302, respectively. … The rich will get richer once John Smoltz joins the Red Sox next month. Smoltz, who had shoulder surgery last June, tossed three scoreless innings in a rehab game Thursday for Class A Greenville in Augusta, Ga. … Mark Kotsay, who suffered a calf injury while returning from back surgery, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday. … Knuckleball specialist Tim Wakefield limited Toronto to one run on five hits and two walks in eight innings in his most recent start, the lone damage coming on a solo homer by former Red Sox player Kevin Millar. … Like Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon is perfect in save opportunities (11-for-11). … The Red Sox are 16-4 in Boston and haven’t lost a series at Fenway Park since the season-opening home series against Tampa Bay.***Santana vs. Red Sox (lifetime, 4-4, 3.40):Jason Varitek .444, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 18 ABJason Bay .400, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 ABDustin Pedroia .400, 1 RBI, 5 ABJulio Lugo .182, 1 RBI, 22 ABDavid Ortiz .182, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 11 ABRocco Baldelli .125, 3 RBI, 16 ABMike Lowell .100, 10 ABNick Green .000, 5 ABJ.D. Drew .000, 2 AB***Pelfrey vs. Red Sox (never faced)***Redding vs. Red Sox (lifetime, 0-2, 12.71):Jason Varitek .667, 1 RBI, 3 ABJ.D. Drew .400, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 10 ABMike Lowell .333, 12 ABRocco Baldelli .333, 3 ABJason Bay .308, 1 RBI, 13 ABDavid Ortiz .250, 3 RBI, 4 ABJulio Lugo .000, 2 ABNick Green .000, 1 AB***Matsuzaka vs. Mets (never faced): Gary Sheffield .545, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 11 ABJeremy Reed .000, 3 AB***Beckett vs. Mets (lifetime, 6-2, 2.50): Ramon Martinez .750, 1 RBI, 4 ABRamon Castro .500, 4 ABFernando Tatis .333, 1 RBI, 3 ABGary Sheffield .231, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 13 ABCarlos Beltran .182, 11 ABRyan Church .100, 10 ABJose Reyes .071, 1 RBI, 14 ABDavid Wright .067, 15 ABLuis Castillo .000, 4 ABJeremy Reed .000, 3 AB***Wakefield vs. Mets (lifetime, 2-3, 2.43): Fernando Tatis 1.000, 1 RBI, 2 ABRamon Martinez .500, 4 ABLuis Castillo .450, 3 RBI, 20 ABCarlos Beltran .304, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 23 ABGary Sheffield .237, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 38 ABJeremy Reed .200, 10 ABRead more: