The Boston Red Sox (32-38) face off against the Minnesota Twins (32-36) in the second game of a three game series at Fenway Park. Boston will look to clinch a rare series win after taking the opening game last night.
Rubby De La Rosa shut down the Twins lineup, holding them to only 1 hit over 7 shutout innings. The Red Sox offense managed to muster only one run, but thanks to the strong effort from the pitching staff, it turned out to be enough.
It's the second time in the span of a week that Boston has won a 1-0 game, bringing their season record in 1-run games to 8-15. Their poor record in close games seems like a fluke, considering their bullpen ranks 4th in the majors in ERA (2.80). They have a closer that has yet to blow a save this season, yet the 13 losses attributed to their bullpen is the most in the AL.
- Jon Lester (7-7, 3.33 ERA) takes the hill for Boston. The Red Sox ace is on pace for his best season since 2010, when he finished 4th in Cy-Young voting and made his first All-Star appearance.
- The Red Sox designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment this afternoon. The team now has 10 days to either trade or release him. Sizemore made a valiant comeback effort after missing over two seasons due to injuries, but ultimately his limited production no longer warranted a spot on the roster. He hit .216 with 2 home runs in 52 games this season.
- Garin Cecchini has been re-called from Pawtucket to take Sizemore's spot on the roster. With Xander Bogaerts entrenched at 3B already, Cecchini's latest call-up may not last much longer than the one he head earlier this season. He can be a useful bat off the bench, but a promising young player like Cecchini needs to continue developing by getting steady at-bats, which he probably won't get in Boston right now. He will likely be sent back down once Shane Victorino is ready to be activated from the DL.
- Brock Holt is getting his first career start in CF tonight, so he'll now have played all three outfield positions in addition to most of the infield positions.
- Phil Hughes (7-2, 3.17 ERA) gets the start for Minnesota. In his last start he shutout the high scoring Blue Jays in Toronto over 7 innings, while striking out a season high 9 batters. His 1.11 WHIP is 5th best among AL starters.
- Brian Dozier leads the Twins in home runs with 15. Nobody else on the team has even half that. Second base isn't generally considered a position where you find much power from. Dozer leads all major league second baseman in home runs, more than doubling anyone else at the position. Detroit's Ian Kinsler is next on that list with only 6. Robinson Cano used to set the bar for power hitting second basemen when he was with the Yankees, but his move to Seattle has suffocated his power, holding him to only 3 HRs this season.