The Boston Red Sox (39-47) play Game 2 of their doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles (46-40) Saturday night. Boston won this afternoon on a broken-bat walk-off base hit by Jonathan Herrera to drive in Jonny Gomes in the bottom of the 9th inning. Herrera and Gomes both entered as pinch hitters and managed to deliver.
Let's play two! The two division rivals square off again tonight with Boston having the chance to pull to within 6 games of the Orioles.
- John Lackey (9-5, 3.62 ERA) gets the start in the nightcap of today's doubleheader. He's struggled in his last two starts, giving up a combined 11 runs in 8.2 innings through stops in Seattle and New York. Expect Lackey to turn things around now that the team is back home at Fenway Park, where he has a 2.77 ERA this season.
- Stephen Drew hit his first home run since last year's World Series to give the Red Sox an early lead in the second inning. Drew only has 3 extra-base hits all season and his .182 SLG is less than half his career average. He proved to be valuable last season with modest hitting and steady defense that ended up being worth 3.1 WAR, which encouraged the Red Sox to bring him back in May. He's struggled to catch up this year and has been a disaster at the plate so far. Despite his still solid defense, he's been worth -0.5 WAR in limited time this year. It's about time he started to show signs of life because the team has to be thinking of cutting the cord on Drew if he doesn't improve soon.
- Due to Friday's game getting rained out, the Red Sox will likely need a spot starter on Wednesday to avoid having to use Lackey or Jon Lester on short rest. Felix Doubront would be an option to rejoin the rotation, since he's already up with the team. However, it also could open a chance for Rubby De La Rosa to get called back up for another start.
- John Farrell said he was hopeful that Shane Victorino could re-start his rehab assignment sometime next week. Assuming he can get to that point without suffering another setback, of course.
- Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.31 ERA) will be on the mound for Baltimore. He got off to a horrendous start in April but has been pitching better lately. He held the Rangers to only one unearned run in his last start to pick up his first win since May 8.
- Baltimore has actually been a bit better on the road this season than they have been at home. They are 23-18 and the offense is hitting .276/.330/.444 on the road this season.