Big Papi broke his slump and the Boston Red Sox added a game their AL East lead with a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox in the series opener Friday. Boston (80-56) now leads the Tampa Bay Rays by 3.5 games, after the Rays lost to Oakland, 4-3. With 26 games to play, it’s looking more and more like the Red Sox are going to be postseason bound.
They’ll go for their MLB-leading 28th series win tonight when Jake Peavy takes the ball. Peavy is 10-5 with a 3.99 ERA on the year – 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA with Boston – and pitched a complete-game three-hitter against the Dodgers this past Sunday. Peavy is facing the White Sox, his former team, for the first time. Emotions may be high on both sides, but Peavy surely will be energized by facing his former mates.
Here is the Red Sox lineup tonight (first pitch – 7:10 pm EDT):
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Gomes, LF
7. Middlebrooks, 3B
8. Ross, C
9. Bogaerts, SS
John Danks will oppose his former teammate, Peavy, on the mound. Danks is 4-10 with a 4.15 ERA, but has won two straight against the Royals and Rangers. In those games, Danks went 14.0 innings and allowed two runs combined with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Victorino stays hot
The Flyin’ Hawaiian is still scorching. Shane Victorino is riding a five-game hitting streak after going 2-for-4 Friday with his 11th RBI during the streak. He also has nine runs scored and has been a catalyst for the middle of the order. The Red Sox are 4-1 in their last five games.
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