The Boston Red Sox (56-69) host the Los Angeles Angeles (74-50) for the third game of their four game series. The Angels have taken the first two of the series after Chris Iannetta doubled in a run in the top of the 9th inning off Koji Uehara for the winning run last night.
Uehara has now given up a run in back-to-back outings for the first time this season – although neither came in a save situation. In his last appearance on August 16 he allowed a solo home run in a game the Red Sox already led by 4 runs and still hung on to win by a comfortable margin. His sparkling 1.53 ERA is still the third best among AL closers and his 0.80 WHIP is second.
The Red Sox have now played in an AL-leading 48 one-run games this season and have a 24-24 record in those contests.
- Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.79 ERA) takes the mound for Boston. He's coming off one of his best starts of the season, having held the Houston Astros to 2 runs over 7 innings and striking out 9. Coincidentally, his only start this season that was better than that also came against the Astros (9 shutout innings, career high 12 strikeouts).
- David Ross has been activated from the disabled list and is in the lineup at catcher tonight for the first time since August 1. His return gives Christian Vazquez a much needed break, after the rookie had caught 12 of the team's last 15 games. Dan Butler has been optioned to make room for Ross. Butler had made three starts and was 0-for-11 at the plate during his brief tenure.
- The Red Sox made another roster move today by sending Steven Wright back to Pawtucket and calling up Alex Hassan. With a couple of lineup regulars dealing with various ailments, the team wanted to add an extra bat on the bench.
- Will Middlebrooks is out of the lineup tonight with a sore hamstring. He was removed during last night's game when he came up hobbling after beating out an infield single and is being considered day-to-day for now. John Farrell said that the team does not believe this is a long term issue, so hopefully he'll avoid another DL stint. Brock Holt will play 3B in his place tonight.
- Yoenis Cespedes is back in the lineup after getting a day of rest yesterday. He's hitting .316/.350/.579 against Garrett Richards. Tonight is Mike Napoli's turn to get a night off, which seems like unfortunate timing considering he's 4-for-9 (.571) in his career against Richards and typically tears it up against his former team. Napoli is dealing with back spasms, which seems to be the reason for his absence.
- Garrett Richards (13-4, 2.53 ERA) gets the start for LA. He's 5th in the AL in ERA and pitching WAR (4.5) this season. He took a no-decision the last time he faced the Red Sox in a game the Angels would go on to win in 19 innings, but held Boston to 3 runs (1 earned) over 6.1 innings while he was in the game.
- Mike Trout has hit a bit of a slump, hitting only .235 in the month of August. His .940 OPS is still second in the league and he's tied for the AL lead in WAR (6.2). With the Angels likely to make the playoffs for the first time in his career, he's still the clear front runner for MVP, but this recent skid has opened the field for a few players to close the gap a bit – such as Josh Donaldson, Robinson Cano and Alex Gordon.
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