The Boston Red Sox (29-36) return home to Fenway Park to take on the Cleveland Indians (33-33). Boston just finished up a disheartening 2-7 road trip, which included getting swept in Cleveland last week. The Indians lost their last two games in Kansas City, but prior to that they were rolling, winning 9 of their last 10 games.
The Red Sox are coming off a three game series in Baltimore where they scored a total of 1 run the entire series and were fortune to salvage one victory along the way. As the Boston Globe pointed out, the last time the Sox managed only one measly run in a three game series was 1993.
Will some home cooking help wake up the offense? Boston is only 15-17 at home this season, but the Indians are 12-22 on the road. They just showed the Sox why they have the AL's best home record, but let's see how they manage at Fenway.
- Jon Lester (6-7, 3.52 ERA) takes the mound for Boston. The team's ace couldn't make it out of the 5th inning last weekend in Detroit, surrendering 5 runs. He had entered that game with a chance to reclaim the AL lead in strikeouts, but failed to record a K for the first time all season.
- Xander Bogaerts is battling his first prolonged slump of the season, hitting only .163 so far in June. He's 0 for his last 16, but the rookie doesn't seem phased. "I'm going through a tough stretch. I'm going to be fine. Sit back, relax and enjoy. I'll be fine." You have to love that attitude and confidence from a young player. Bogaerts is out of the lineup tonight, with Brock Holt sliding back to 3B and Daniel Nava in LF.
- Daniel Nava is 6 for his last 18 (.333), but only has 1 extra-base hit in that stretch, to go with 6 strikeouts and only 1 walk. Unsustainable or a sign he's turning things around? Probably closer to the former, but considering he can't get much worse than where he was earlier this season, there may be a bit of the latter mixed in there too.
- Josh Tomlin (4-2, 3.12 ERA) gets the start for Cleveland. He's given up 3 runs or less in every start this season, but last time out in Texas was the only time he lasted more than 6 innings. He's not a big strikeout guy, but does have 35 K's and only 5 walks in 40.1 innings this season.
- Lonnie Chisenhall made waves last week with a historically great game, going 5-for-5 with 3 HRs and 9 RBIs. Nobody in the history of baseball has duplicated that exact line. Only 3 players (Fred Lynn, Gil Hodges, and Walker Cooper) have ever had at least 5 hits, 3 HRs and 9 RBI in a game before. How big a deal is that? The Hall of Fame asked for his bat.