The resurgent Boston Red Sox will try to extend their weeks-long hot stretch when they host the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
The Red Sox have gone 13-4 in June while outscoring their opponents 82-51. They have won five consecutive series and they are 9-1-2 in their last 12.
After starting the season 10-19, Boston has gone 27-12 climb into the middle of the American League wild card race.
“We got to keep rolling,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We got to keep going. Every series for us is a challenge and it’s because we started the way we started.”
Meanwhile, the Tigers snapped a six-game losing streak by winning their last two games against the Texas Rangers, 14-7 and 7-4.
“Any time you hit, it brings a lot of energy to the team,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’ve pitched well, we played pretty good defense, we’ve hit the ball, we’ve responded to (the Rangers) taking the lead both days and then even, coming back and tying the game, we responded. It’s an exceptional brand of baseball that everybody has expected for a while.”
Each team will use a rookie starting pitcher in the opener of this three-game series at Fenway Park. Alex Faedo (1-3, 4.28 ERA) will go for the Tigers, and the Red Sox will counter with Josh Winckowski (1-1, 4.50).
In his big league debut, Winckowski suffered a 4-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on May 28. He allowed four runs on six hits and three walks in three innings.
Then Winckowkski earned his first big league victory, 10-1 over the Oakland A’s on June 15. He threw five scoreless innings while allowing just four hits and one walk.
“It definitely feels good to help the team win,” Winckowski said after that victory. “That first game, the runs I gave up were the only ones Baltimore scored, so I felt directly like I lost us that game. It honestly feels good to go the other way tonight and feel like I helped the team win.
“It’s a surreal moment. It’s obviously something you think about for a very, very long time, especially to be for this team. It’s a pretty big moment.”
Faedo will be looking to rebound from his only poor performance of the season. He allowed seven runs on nine hits, including two homers, in three innings during a 13-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on June 15.
Hinch ended up using three position players to pitch in that game, and the team held a 30-minute meeting afterward to refocus.
Faedo allowed two runs or one run in each of his first seven starts while working five or more innings. But his outing against the White Sox started badly when he hit AJ Pollock with a pitch, and it stayed bad.
“He just couldn’t throw strikes,” Hinch said. “He hit someone on the first pitch of the game, and that was supposed to be middle-out.”
The Tigers’ offense got a lift from top outfield prospect Riley Greene, who went 2-for-5 with four walks and two runs in his first two big league games.
Detroit also expects to add third baseman Jeimer Candelario to its roster for this series. After recovering from a left shoulder subluxation, Candelario was 6-for-16 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs in four games in a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Toledo.
–Field Level Media