Boston enters having split its last eight games, the latest a 5-3 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. The club has won or tied its last nine series and is four games back in the American League East.
Clay Buchholz, who had a personal five-game winning streak snapped six days ago in Cleveland, gets the call for the Sox. Former New York Yankee Ian Kennedy goes for Arizona, which is mired in last place in the National League West.
Tuesday's contest marks the third time that brothers J.D. and Stephen Drew, the starting shortstop for Arizona, play against one another.
Diamondbacks (26-38) at Red Sox (37-28)
Tuesday, June 15, 7:10 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston
The Diamondbacks own a 5-4 series advantage, including four wins in six games at Fenway Park.
RHP Ian Kennedy (3-3, 3.17 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (8-4, 2.52 ERA) Buchholz's loss last Wednesday in Cleveland was an odd one. He was wild early and ended up walking four against just one strikeout and allowing one of three runs to score on a wild pitch.
However, the 25-year-old righty yielded just three hits and became stronger as the game dragged on. Overall he is 5-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last six outings.
Buchholz has never pitched in an interleague game.
Kennedy, also 25, struggled to get going with the Yankees before they shipped him to Arizona as part of a three-team deal that also involved Detroit. Life in the desert has been a bit better.
The right-hander has quietly been the Diamondbacks best starter and is coming off his third scoreless outing of the year. He did not get the decision but surrendered only three hits in seven innings of a 2-1 win over Atlanta last Wednesday.
|Kelly Johnson, 2B
Stephen Drew, SS
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Miguel Montero, C
Chris Young, CF
Justin Upton, RF
Tony Abreu, DH
Gerardo Parra, LF
|Daniel Nava, LFS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Oriz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, SS
Mike Cameron, CF
The Diamondbacks can slug with the best of them, at least in the National League. But they whiff at an incredibly high rate, making Buchholz's ability to be effective in the zone that much more critical.
If he can throw strikes down, the Sox will be in good shape. They may also want to wait out Kennedy as much as they can — Arizona's bullpen is an absolute mess, sporting a 7.33 ERA, far and away the worst mark in the majors.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP