The Boston Red Sox (56-67) begin a series with the Los Angeles Angels (72-50) at Fenway Park. The teams last met during Boston's last road trip, with the Red Sox taking two out of three to win the series. The one game in that series the Angels managed to win, it took them 19 innings to do it.
Despite that recent success against the Angels, this series should prove to be a difficult challenge for Boston. The Angels have the best record in the majors after sliding past the slumping Oakland A's to take over first place in the AL West over the weekend. Their +87 run differential is only the third best in their own division, but still far better than any team from the other two AL divisions.
- Brandon Workman (1-6, 4.45 ERA) rejoins the rotation for Boston. He had his last turn skipped to give him some extra rest and hasn't appeared in a game since the team was forced to turn to him at the end of the 19-inning marathon in Los Angeles on August 9. Workman gave up the walk-off home run to Albert Pujols to end the game, giving him his 6th loss in his last 6 appearances (5 starts).
- The Red Sox optioned struggling outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. to Pawtucket this afternoon. JBJ's .578 OPS was the worst of any qualified hitter in the AL this season. Mookie Betts has been called up to replace him on the active roster and is in the lineup tonight, starting in CF. Betts has hit a combined .346 between stints in Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket this season.
- Despite being the team's hottest hitter over the past week (hitting .500 in his last 5 games!), Daniel Nava will start the night on the bench. Nava is hitting only .140 against lefties this season.
- Brock Holt has a career-high 11 game hit streak going. He's hitting .286 (14-for-49) during the streak, with a pair of doubles and has also walked 5 times.
- C.J. Wilson (9-8, 4.71 ERA) get the start for Los Angeles. He's having his worst season since becoming a starter back in 2009 with the Texas Rangers and is actually providing below replacement level value (-0.4 WAR). His 1.40 WHIP ranks among the bottom 10 in the AL among qualified starters and his 56 walks are tied for 5th most in the league.
- Slumping Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton asked out of the lineup yesterday to try to clear his head. "I felt like I was spinning my wheels and felt like I wasn't getting anywhere," Hamilton said after the Angels' 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Sunday. "So sometimes it's good to do that and take a step back." Hamilton is hitting .266 this season, which is better than last year at least, but still a disappointment for a player paid like a star. Even worse, he only has 8 home runs and 35 RBI through the 72 games he's appeared in.
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Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Brandon Workman, Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley, MLB, Mookie Betts