Nationals-Red Sox Preview
The Boston Red Sox are on the brink of their best start in 22 seasons because of the Washington Nationals’ continuing issues in the field.
The Red Sox will try to improve to 7-2 while completing a three-game sweep of the Nationals on Wednesday, though it’s unclear if they’ll have Pablo Sandoval or Xander Bogaerts available.
Boston (6-2) didn’t get a hit in the seventh inning Tuesday but scored three runs in an 8-7 victory due to Washington’s three errors. Reliever Blake Treinen had two of those on one play and Ian Desmond committed his sixth of the season.
"It’s not going to happen every day, but you’ve got to take advantage when that happens, so that’s what we did," Red Sox outfielder Hanley Ramirez said.
The Nationals have made nine errors and at least one in each of the last four games.
"It’s the same recipe," manager Matt Williams said. "If you put all the ingredients together the same way every time, then you’re going to get the same meal."
Their latest miscues put Boston close to matching its 7-2 start from 1993. The Red Sox are also on the verge of sweeping their opening home series for the first time since 2001.
Boston also won its first three games at home in 2012.
It’s unknown if the Red Sox will have Sandoval as they attempt to achieve those goals. He tried to play after suffering a bruised left foot when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning Tuesday and was out of the game after the fifth.
Sandoval is hitting .400 (22 for 55) in his last 16 games against Washington and went 2 for 4 in Monday’s opener. Bogaerts sat out Tuesday’s game because of a sore right knee, and his status is unknown for the finale.
The Red Sox are 11-3 against Washington at Fenway Park and have swept all but one series versus that franchise dating to its days as the Montreal Expos. Washington earned all three of its wins at Boston with a sweep in June 2012.
Wade Miley will try to lead the Red Sox to this sweep while collecting his first win of 2015. Miley (0-0, 3.38 ERA) was in line for the victory in his season debut Friday against the New York Yankees after giving up two runs in 5 1-3 innings, but Edward Mujica allowed the tying home run in the ninth in an eventual 6-5 win in 19 innings.
Miley hasn’t gotten enough run support to earn a win in any of his last three starts against the Nationals, going 0-1 despite posting a 1.31 ERA. While with Arizona, he tossed 6 2-3 scoreless innings in his lone matchup last season, but Gio Gonzalez pitched seven scoreless in a 1-0 victory.
Gonzalez will pitch opposite Miley again in this game and will also seek his first win of the season. The left-hander pitched six scoreless innings Friday in Philadelphia but was charged with three runs after he left in the seventh in a 4-1 loss.
Gonzalez (0-1, 4.26) is 3-1 with a 5.24 ERA in six career starts against Boston and has gotten a combined 12 runs of support while winning each of the last two.
His teammates are coming into this game after breaking out of their weeklong slump at the plate to start this season with 10 hits Tuesday. The Nationals batted .185 with 17 runs in their first seven games.