Jon Lester had an off night and the Boston Red Sox (27-18) fell in the opening game of their road series against the Chicago White Sox (20-23). Tonight, the Red Sox turn to Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.03 ERA) to try to even the series. The lefty walked six batters in his last start against Tampa Bay and is allowing opponents to hit .307 against him this season. If he can keep the damage to a minimum and avoid getting deep into counts, the Red Sox may have a chance.
Here’s Boston’s lineup tonight at U.S. Cellular Field (first pitch – 8:10 pm EDT):
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Gomes, LF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Nava, RF
7. Middlebrooks, 3B
8. Drew, SS
9. Saltalamacchia, C
The Southside Sox send out left-hander Jose Quintana. He is 2-1 with a 3.97 ERA this season in eight starts. He’s allowed 43 hits and 13 walks in 45.1 innings while striking out 34. Quintana hasn’t won since April 24.
What the Ells?
It was pointed out today via various media members that Jacoby Ellsbury is fourth-lowest among 18 qualified leadoff hitters in MLB in OBP (.303) and second-lowest in OPS (.638). He’s batting .241 and the average continues to drop, as he is just 3-for-24 through seven games of this nine-game road trip. A drop in the lineup may be coming soon, but the question then becomes: Who leads off? That’s a question John Farrell may have to answer soon. Shane Victorino would be the obvious candidate, but he’s out of the lineup for a second time in the last few weeks, this time with a hamstring injury (previous injury: back).
Loving life on the road
Boston has won six of seven road series, the best road series record in baseball. They have won both on this three-city trip, having taken two-of-three against Tampa Bay and sweeping Minnesota. To continue the streak, the Red Sox will need to win tonight and again tomorrow.
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