Red Sox-Indians Preview

The Boston Red Sox may be trying for their longest winning

streak in 10 months, but they’re probably more concerned with

playing a small part in helping a city heal from tragedy.

After winning their first game since the Boston Marathon

bombing, the Red Sox will try to continue their success and hand

Cleveland Indians right-hander Justin Masterson his first loss of

the season Wednesday night.

The Red Sox (9-4) beat the Indians 7-2 in the opener of this

three-game series Tuesday in their first game against former

manager Terry Francona, who helped them win two World Series in

eight years.

The reunion was an afterthought since the Sox were also taking

the field a day after a pair of explosions near the Boston

Marathon’s finish line killed three and injured more than 170.

The Red Sox also displayed a jersey with No. 617 – Boston’s area

code – with “Boston” above the numerals and “Strong” below it. They

return to Fenway Park after this series, opening a 10-game

homestand against Kansas City on Friday.

“Given what’s taken place, this is fresh on everyone’s minds,”

manager John Farrell said. “Even though we may not be in Boston

right now, we carry this with us. We feel very much a part of the

city and the community and everything that goes on there.

“We have not forgotten by any means.”

With the tragic events still weighing on their minds, the Red

Sox will try to win five straight for the first time since June

16-21.

Boston also attempts to win at Cleveland (5-7) for the sixth

time in eight visits. Red Sox pitchers have compiled a 2.66 ERA and

limited the Indians to a .198 average in the last seven games

there, and another strong performance may be needed with Masterson

(3-0, 0.41) on the mound.

Masterson, who won his first five starts of 2011 with a 2.18

ERA, has tossed a career-high 19 scoreless innings since the only

run he’s allowed this season in a 4-1 win at Toronto on April

2.

“It’s going to end sometime, right?” Masterson said of his

streak. “You have to go out and finish off innings, which is

something I’m trying to do.”

He was superb again Friday, tossing a five-hitter before Nick

Swisher’s walkoff single clinched a 1-0 win over the Chicago White

Sox.

The right-hander, however, was a 12-1 loser to the Red Sox in

his most recent start against them May 13. He gave up six runs and

seven hits in six innings, after going 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA over his

first four career meetings against the team he began his career

with in 2008.

He’ll have to contend with Mike Napoli, who is 7 for 21 with

four doubles and seven RBIs over the past five games. He had a pair

of doubles, and drove in two in the Red Sox’s seven-run second

inning Tuesday.

Napoli is hitting .371 with seven RBIs in his past 10 meetings

with the Indians.

Alfredo Aceves (0-0, 6.75) is scheduled to make his second start

in place of John Lackey, who is on the disabled list with a right

biceps strain.

Aceves allowed two runs and six hits with three walks in five

innings while not getting a decision in a 3-2 loss to Baltimore on

Thursday. It was the right-hander’s first start since June 21,

2011.

All six of Aceves’ appearances versus the Indians have come in

relief, and he’s yielded two runs with eight strikeouts in 7 2-3

innings. He’s tossed four scoreless innings in two games in

Cleveland.