The Boston Red Sox (23-29) host the Atlanta Braves (28-24) to conclude their home and home series. Boston blanked the Braves in the first game at Fenway in front of a packed house that included members of the 2004 World Series team.
John Lackey pitched brilliantly for 6.1 shut out innings, while the bats of Xander Bogaerts (3 for 4 with a walk and a run) and Johnny Gomes (2 for 3 with a walk, RBI and 2 runs) carried the offense. Boston has won the first three games against Atlanta and will try for the season sweep tonight.
- Jake Peavy (1-2, 4.65 ERA) will start for Boston. After a solid start to the season, Peavy has been roughed up for at least 5 runs in each of his past three starts.
- Dustin Pedroia has feasted on NL pitching this year, hitting .343/.385/.429 in 8 games against teams from the senior circuit.
- Brock Holt is hitting .265 in the past 7 games since being moved to the lead-off spot. It's a discouraging sign for a team desperately in need of a reliable option to fill that void. Plus, the fact that he has yet to draw a walk in 34 at bats from the lead-off spot is a concern. He has 5 walks and 13 strikeouts total in his 18 games this season, which is hardly an ideal ratio for someone hitting at the top of the lineup.
- Ryan Lavarnway is penciled into the lineup at 1B for his first start of the season. He's 0 for 3 in pinch hitting duty so far this season.
- Mike Minor (2-3, 3.90 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta. The Braves ace missed all of April after starting the season on the DL, but is starting to round into form with 3 straight Quality Starts.
- Justin Upton didn't quite meet expectations last season after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he's living up to his potential so far this season. He leads the Braves in hitting at .309/.389/.602, while also leading his team in HRs (13) and RBIs (33) through the first 50 games. Those totals are nearly halfway to his HR and RBI totals from last year in 149 games.
- Atlanta promoted second base prospect Tommy La Stella prior to yesterday's game and the rookie had a pair of singles in his major league debut. While he profiles as a player that should hit for average, he doesn't have much power or speed. In other words, don't rush out to pick him up in your fantasy baseball league. However, he should help the Braves based on the fact that he's not Dan Uggla, Tyler Pastornicky or Ramiro Pena, who have combined to bat .164 this season. La Stella isn't an elite prospect (he's not on Baseball America's top 100 list), but he has to be able to do better than that, right?
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