MLB Preview: Boston Red Sox’ 4-Game Series vs Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
Last week was a rough week for the Boston Red Sox as they lost four of their last six games, including a three-game sweep by the Texas Rangers over the weekend. The Red Sox hope to see better results from both their pitching staff and offense this coming week.
The Red Sox open a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins Monday night at Fenway Park. This is the first meeting of these two teams this season. The Twins enter the series with a 13-14 record, while the Red Sox are still sitting pretty at 20-11.
The Twins, also losers of four of their last six games, have been hovering around .500 all season and will have their work cut out for them as they enter a series against one of the MLB’s best teams in 2013.
The Red Sox have had a rough time getting runs across the plate lately and mixed with sketchy starting pitching, it has put the team on a skid they would like to get out of as soon as possible. Felix Doubront had a rough outing in Texas, while Jon Lester and John Lackey each surrendered three earned runs each in their starts against the Rangers.
If the Red Sox want to continue to contend in the AL East, they will need to get their bats going again and have better outings from the back end of the starting rotation. While Lester has cooled off a bit, he is still pitching well enough to win ballgames and that's what matters most.
Let’s take a look at who is projected take the mound this coming week against the Twins.
Clay Buchholz vs. Vance Worley
Clay Buchholz will start the series opener on Monday evening and looks to notch his seventh win of the season. The Boston Red Sox starter has not given up more than two earned runs this season and has kept his opponent off the scoreboard in three of his six games. The 28-year-old has posted a 6-0 record with a 1.01 ERA and 47 strikeouts over his first 44.2 innings of 2013.
Vance Worley gets the call for the Minnesota Twins. Worley has had a rough start to the 2013 season, going 0-4 with a 7.22 ERA in his first six games. The 25-year-old is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his only start against the Red Sox over his career. Only one current Red Sox player, Dustin Pedroia, has been able to get a hit off the Twins starter.
First pitch is set for May 6 at 7:10 p.m. eastern time from Fenway Park.
Ryan Dempster vs. Scott Diamond
Ryan Dempster picked up his second win in a Boston Red Sox uniform during his last outing against the Toronto Blue Jays after having earned two no-decisions and two losses in his first four starts. Dempster sits at 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and has 47 strikeouts over his first 36 innings of work. The 36-year-old is 2-1 with a 6.16 ERA over the past 10 years against the Minnesota Twins.
Scott Diamond has been one the better starting pitchers for the Twins this season. Diamond has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.97 ERA and allowed only two runs on four hits in six innings during his last outing. The 26-year-old has never faced the Red Sox in his career.
First pitch is set for May 7 at 7:10 p.m. eastern time from Fenway Park.
Felix Doubront vs. Pedro Hernandez
Felix Doubront struggled against the Texas Rangers in his last start, surrendering six earned runs in just 3.2 innings of work. On the season, Doubront is 3-1 with a 5.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 27 innings of work. Against the Minnesota Twins, the 25-year-old has tossed five innings in his only start, giving up five earned runs on eight hits and four walks.
Pedro Hernandez has only factored into a single decision this season for the Twins. His five-inning outing against the Rangers on Apr. 27 was his only win of the season. The 24-year-old is 1-0 with a 3.92 ERA in only his second season the big leagues. In his last outing against the Boston Red Sox, Hernandez went four innings, allowing eight earned runs on 12 hits, including three home runs.
First pitch is set for May 8 at 7:10 p.m. eastern time from Fenway Park.
John Lackey vs. Kevin Correia
John Lackey should be back to a normal pitch count on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins. The Boston Red Sox starter will pitch in only his fourth game this season and his third since coming off the disabled list. Lackey is 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA this season, much better looking numbers than in the past. The 34-year-old is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA and 72 strikeouts over his career against the Twins.
Lackey will face off against the Twins' best starter this season. Kevin Correia had a streak of five consecutive quality starts to begin the season, although he ended that streak in his last outing. Correia is 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA this season for the Twins. The 32-year-old has only tossed a single scoreless inning against the Red Sox over his career.
First pitch is set for May 9 at 7:10 p.m. eastern time from Fenway Park.
What’s Next for the Boston Red Sox?
The Red Sox are 4-2 against the Blue Jays this season, winning both three-game series in Toronto. Two of the Red Sox four wins have come via a blow out of 10 runs or more, and they will look to do the same in front of their home fans.
The three-game series gets underway on Friday evening and will include afternoon games on Saturday and Sunday. Jon Lester will likely start on Friday evening and Clay Buchholz on Saturday.