The Boston Red Sox (54-65) return home from an 8-game road trip to face the Houston Astros (50-71). The Red Sox went 5-3 during that trip, making it the first time all season the team has completed a road trip of more than 3 games with a winning record.
The Astros are one of only two teams in the AL with a worse record than the Red Sox and their -92 run differential is the second worst in the majors. The Red Sox last saw them when taking two out of three in Houston heading into the All-Star break.
Prior to today's game there will be a ceremony to honor the inductees into this year's Red Sox Hall of Fame. This year's batch of legends is perhaps the most start studded in franchise history, with Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Roger Clemens and radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione all being rewarded for their impressive careers.
- Allen Webster (2-1, 4.91 ERA) will be on the mound for Boston. The rookie is coming off the best start of his young career, holding the LA Angels to two runs over 6.2 innings. The most encouraging sign is that he only walked two batters, after allowing 11 free passes over his first two starts. He should be able to build on that success against a young free-swinging Astros lineup that leads the AL in strikeouts this season.
- Boston optioned Anthony Ranaudo back to Triple-A Pawtucket following his start yesterday, which would seem to indicate that Brandon Workman will get his next turn in the rotation after he was skipped this time around to rest. Reliever Alex Wilson has been called up to replace Ranaudo on the roster, adding some extra depth to the bullpen.
- Yoenis Cespedes is in the lineup today after being removed for precautionary reasons due to a hand contusion suffered in his final at-bat in yesterday's game in Cincinnati. Cespedes has been very productive lately, with a game tying RBI in the 5th inning yesterday and game winning home runs in the 8th inning of each of the previous two games.
- Scott Feldman (6-8, 4.14 ERA) gets the start for Houston. He's earned the win in each of his last two starts and has thrown a quality start in 4 of his last 5. His 5.08 K/9 ratio is the third lowest among qualified AL starters, which should make for an interesting match up against a Boston lineup that includes Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Mike Napoli, who both rank in the top 16 hitters in the league in strikeouts. Xander Bogaerts leads the team in whiffs and is tied for 12th in the AL, but will start this game on the bench.
- Houston's All-Star second baseman, Jose Altuve, leads the league in hitting at .338 and also has a league leading 46 steals this season. His 4.3 WAR trails only Robinson Cano (5.1) among major league second basemen and is just ahead of Dustin Pedroia (4.1).
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