The Boston Red Sox (63-44) are back in second place in the AL East after Monday night’s debacle in the eighth inning. They now turn their attention to the visiting Seattle Mariners (50-55) to kickoff a stretch of upcoming games against teams currently under .500. Boston plays 16 games in 17 days, with 10 of them on the road, but only the Arizona Diamondbacks (54-51) have a winning record as of today, giving the Red Sox a chance to retake the division lead.
Brandon Workman gets another spot start, his third, in the Red Sox rotation. Workman has pitched well in his first two starts, going at least six innings in each and giving up just four earned runs total. He is 0-1 with a 4.40 ERA and made one relief appearance prior to being moved to a starting role. That one relief appearance was his Major League Debut and it came against the Mariners at Safeco Field. Tonight, he hopes for another Major League first: his first win.
Here is tonight’s line for the Red Sox (first pitch – 7:10 pm EDT):
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Saltalamacchia, C
7. Gomes, LF
8. Drew, SS
9. Iglesias, 3B
The Mariners will start Joe Saunders on the mound tonight. He is an even 9-9 this season with a 4.48 ERA, but is 4-1 in his last five starts. In his most recent outing, Saunders lost to the Indians, giving up five earned runs on nine hits in just 4.2 innings.
Ms hot in July
The only team to win a series against the Mariners in the month of July is, you guessed it, the Boston Red Sox. The Sox took three of four in Seattle earlier this month, taking the final three games of the series after losing the opener. Seattle went on to win eight straight games after that defeat and most recently split a four-game series with Minnesota. The Mariners are 15-8 in July and have crept to third in the AL West standings, but are still 12.5 games behind first-place Oakland. However, they are only 7.5 games back for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
This has nothing to do with Dustin Pedroia signing an extension and then fading with the pressure off. This is to say that Pedroia is slumping and we all know he will bust out of his slump in a big way. Pedey is mired in a 3-for-39 slump since returning from the All-Star Break and is 0-for-his-last 15 at-bats. His average has dipped to .294 after reaching .325 on July 6. When Pedroia does break out, it will be in a big way, so don’t panic, Red Sox Nation.
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