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OAK@BOS: Aviles blasts a three-run shot over the wall

When the Red Sox and Royals begin a three-game series on Monday at Kauffman Stadium, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles.

Aviles, who was traded to the Red Sox last July, spent four seasons with the Royals, batting .285 during that stretch. He finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2008.

Aviles readily acknowledges it was the Royals organization that molded him into the player he is now.

"First off, home has always been New York for me, but [Kansas City] was my first organization," Aviles said before Sunday's game against the Orioles, a 9-6 Red Sox loss in 17 innings. "They taught me how to play the game the right way.

"I'm the player I am now because of what I was taught through the Minor Leagues over there and how I was developed."

There are plenty of Royals players whom Aviles played with, both in the Minor Leagues and Majors.

"Last year was kind of weird a little bit, because I knew most of those guys through the Minor Leagues," Aviles said. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be interesting, and I can't wait to play against them."

Aviles is a fan of this young Royals team.

"They have a lot of talent," Aviles said. "I witnessed it firsthand. I've seen those kids play in the Minor Leagues.

"It's just a matter of everything coming together and everybody all playing together, and I'm pretty sure they're going to be good in the next couple of years."

How about the Red Sox getting on track?

"I think we just need to start winning some ballgames and get on a little roll here," Aviles said. "If we look ahead, we can forget about what the task at hand is."

Red Sox: Bullpen depleted
Boston will ask Monday's starter, Felix Doubront, to pitch deep into the series opener at Kansas City. Boston's bullpen is a mess after Sunday's starter, Clay Buchholz, lasted just 3 2/3 innings.

Eight Red Sox relievers pitched in the game, with Matt Albers, Alfredo Aceves, Franklin Morales, Rich Hill and Scott Atchison each pitching two innings. Andrew Miller worked 1 1/3 innings, while and Vicente Padilla and outfielder Darnell McDonald each tossed one inning. Doubront lasted just four innings in his last start, a loss to Oakland.

Royals: Sanchez hopes to get going
Monday's Royals starter, Jonathan Sanchez, was acquired by Kansas City after spending six seasons in the National League with the Giants, and he's coming off an effective, albeit abbreviated, outing.

Sanchez did not allow a run and gave up just one hit in a five-inning stint against the Tigers on Wednesday. He threw only 82 pitches after battling an undisclosed illness during his previous start, on April 24.

Worth noting
Only one Red Sox hitter has faced Sanchez more than a handful of times -- former Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez, who is 9-for-39 with three doubles and a home run in his career against Sanchez. He's walked four times but struck out 12 times. Additionally, Cody Ross is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against Sanchez.

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