The Boston Red Sox (31-36) play the third game of a four game series against the Cleveland Indians (33-35). The bats have woken from their slumber in Boston, as the Red Sox have put together 15 runs over the first two games of the series, resulting in a pair of victories.
The Red Sox scored a season-high 10 runs last night to clobber former Sox prospect Justin Masterson and the Indians. The Sox got at least one hit from everyone in the lineup, except David Ortiz, who walked 3 times. Cleveland clearly wasn't going to mess around with him after what he did to them the previous game. Timely hitting with runners in scoring position has been a season long issue for Boston, but the team went 7 for 16 in those situations last night and are 10 for 25 in the series.
The Tribe still have an AL high 21 wins at home, but have combined that with a league worst 24 losses on the road. The Red Sox have so far seen the best and worst of their Jekyll and Hyde routine, leaving them eager to take advantage of the latter at Fenway.
- Jake Peavy (1-4, 4.76 ERA) will be on the hill for Boston. Peavy hasn't done himself any favors with the 6th worst ERA in the AL (among qualified starters), but his lack of wins can also be attributed to the 6th worst run support in the league. Boston's offense has scored only 3.54 runs per game in Peavy's starts.
- Brock Holt is making his first career start in RF today, with Jonny Gomes starting in LF. Fenway is notorious for being tough on right fielders defensively, so this will be a real test for the super-utility man. At this point, you wonder if by season's end he'll have tried every position. If the Sox ever find themselves in a blowout where they need to conserve the bullpen, maybe they'd even let him pitch!
- Jonny Gomes is hitting .304/.419/.478 against lefty pitchers. Since Daniel Nava and Grady Sizemore both can't hit their own weight against lefties, Gomes has to be in there. He has very little experience patrolling RF at Fenway, which helps explain why they are trying Holt over there.
- The Pawtucket Red Sox were rained out last night, so the team will try to get 5 innings out of Clay Buchholz today instead.
- John Farrell told reporters that Stephen Drew will take batting practice, do some running and take ground balls before today's game. If all goes well, he could be available off the bench this afternoon. Otherwise, a trip to the DL looks like a real possibility.
- T.J. House (0-1, 5.24 ERA) gets the start for Cleveland. He limited the Sox to 2 runs in 5.2 innings when they met earlier this month, but his 6.32 road ERA suggests the rookie won't have it as easy this time.
- Boston has thus far avoided being burned by one of the league's hottest hitters so far in this series. Lonnie Chisenhall got a night off on Thursday and went 0-4 last night, snapping a 9-game hitting streak and dropping his average down to .384 for the season. He's been tearing it up at a ridiculous pace all season that was unforeseen by just about everyone, so he's bound to regress at some point. Yet you get the feeling that he'll make his mark on this series at some point.