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06/13/10 11:49 AM ET

D-backs head east to visit rising Red Sox

What's in a name? What's in those genes?

The D-backs will find out, as the National League West cellar-dwellers venture into hostile American League East territory to begin an Interleague series against the Red Sox.

Arizona's last trip didn't too well, a winless 0-9 tour of Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles that ran the D-backs' losing streak on the road to 10 -- a big chunk of their overall 9-22 away record.

But can a Kennedy go wrong in Massachusetts? Arizona right-hander Ian Kennedy hopes not, as he takes the Fenway Park mound seeking to stay on a roll that has seen him make eight consecutive starts without allowing more than three runs.

The Drew brothers will also get to face off over the next few days, providing another interesting sideplot. Boston outfielder J.D. Drew, the fifth overall selection in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, and his younger brother Stephen -- selected 15th overall by Arizona in 2004 -- will get a rare opportunity to play on the same field over the next few days. The only one missing from the reunion is middle brother Tim Drew, who was a first-round draftee in 1998 and retired from competitive action in '08.

And Justin Upton, whose struggles have been one of the weights keeping the D-backs down, hopes doing some damage to Fenway Park is just family business. Brother B.J., of the Tampa Bay Rays, destroyed Boston during the 2008 ALCS, going 6-for-12 with two homers and eight RBIs in the middle three games in Beantown.

The younger Upton can definitely use a boost, as he sat out Sunday's finale of the Chase Field series against St. Louis in a 6-for-31 slump that has lowered his average to .242. Equally unsettling, he leads the Majors with his 87 strikeouts.

Having something to say about the D-backs' get-well hopes will be the Red Sox, whose footsteps are being heard by the teams now sharing the top spot in the AL East standings, the Rays and the Yankees.

The Red Sox have just proven that Boston is not a good place to visit for NL teams trying to climb out of a sick bed. Before running into Cole Hamels on Sunday, the Red Sox outscored the Phillies 22-4 in back-to-back wins. In its first six Interleague games, all against Philadelphia, Boston owns a 39-to-17 scoring advantage.

Since the Red Sox no longer have anyone named "Nixon" on their roster, Kennedy's chief opposition will come from Clay Buchholz, who continues to lead the Boston staff with eight wins and has allowed a total of seven earned runs in his past six starts to steadily lower his ERA to 2.52.

D-backs: Kennedy makes Boston debut
Kennedy got into 14 games and made 12 starts for the Yankees in 2007-09, but not one of those appearances was against the Red Sox. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a game since April 29.

Red Sox: Home cooking
Remember that awful start at home, Boston's worst in 78 years? The Red Sox don't -- since losing six of their first seven home games, they have gone 19-9 at Fenway Park. ... Although done in by one bad inning, Tim Wakefield's 7 1/3-inning outing on Sunday upped his career workload to 3,004 2/3 innings, as he joined the Phillies' Jamie Moyer (3,982) and the Yankees' Andy Pettitte (3,006 2/3) as the only active pitchers with 3,000-plus innings pitched.

Worth noting
Pinch-hitting is supposedly the province of NL teams, with pitchers still having a place in their lineups, so it is somewhat surprising to note that the Red Sox (12) have more pinch-hits this season than the Phillies (10).

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.