Red Sox’ Hot Bats Look to Take Advantage of Indians’ Struggling Staff


Aug 2, 2010

Red Sox' Hot Bats Look to Take Advantage of Indians' Struggling Staff The Red Sox have won five of six games, are riding an emotional high after consecutive walk-off wins and get to host the worst team in the American League Central for four straight nights.

It has the makings of a promising series at Fenway Park. Here are a few keys to ensuring success for the Sox:

Don't Wait Until the End
As nice as those wild celebrations are for the fans, the highlight packages and the general morale of the team, the Sox could certainly use an easy win here and there. Seven of their AL-high 36 one-run games have taken place since the All-Star break and all 17 of the second-half contests have been decided by four runs or less.

Terry Francona has been careful not to tax guys like Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard. He wouldn't have to worry as much if Boston sprinkled in a rout from time to time.

Don't Sleep on Cleveland Pitching
The Indians enter with one of the worst pitching staffs in the AL, with an overworked bullpen and a starting rotation that just lost veteran Jake Westbrook to a trade and Mitch Talbot to the disabled list.

However, they get to throw their best starter, Fausto Carmona, in the opener. The third game of the set features former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson, who dominated the Sox at home earlier in the year. And the finale will see rookie Josh Tomlin on the mound. In his major league debut, he beat the New York Yankees with seven innings of three-hit ball and followed that up by allowing a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings against Toronto.

Don't Look Ahead
Francona loves to talk about focusing on the task at hand. With a 10-game road trip looming, an excursion which will feature four at New York and three at Texas, that becomes imperative.

The Sox have lost the last game of a homestand six out of eight times this year. It has pushed them onto the road on a negative note several times.

Take care of business, and then take on the big boys in The Bronx.

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