White Sox-Red Sox preview
The Boston Red Sox won the rubber match of their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Sunday behind the superb pitching of the man they're paying to be their ace: David Price.
Now they get to start a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox with the pitcher who has resembled their ace from the start of the season: Steven Wright.
Wright (8-4, 2.22 ERA) leads the American League in ERA and is on a career-high five-game winning streak. During the streak he has a 1.77 ERA (seven earned runs allowed in 35 2/3 innings). The knuckleballer continues to be an amazing story and a potential All-Star.
“(He's been) very dependable. He's been stingy with the number of baserunners allowed. He's done a great job when he's had men in scoring position to minimize potential big innings,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “And when you see him walk to the mound every day, our team has a tremendous amount of confidence and trust. So that's been earned completely on his part by the way he's not only been deep into ballgames but the number of adjustments he's had to make inside of each one.”
While Price was the pitching star Sunday with one run allowed over eight innings, right fielder Mookie Betts was the offensive hero with a seventh-inning go-ahead home run that was the difference in the 2-1 win.
Betts will be a hard one for the White Sox to handle at the top of the Boston order. He has now reached base safely in 20 straight games, hitting .360 (31-for-86) over that span with six home runs and 15 RBIs. Through six games of the Red Sox's homestand, Betts is 9-for-25 with a home run and three RBIs.
“Other than the (Green) Monster being there, just I can come home and I can work. I think I get a lot of extra work here and use it here,” Betts said. “When we're on the road I don't get as much work. But I'm trying to even it out a little bit.”
Although the White Sox can take some confidence from having beaten Wright and the Red Sox 3-2 on May 3, they're visiting Boston during a bad stretch. They were swept three straight on the road by the Cleveland Indians, including a 3-2 decision in 10 innings on Sunday.
Chicago has lost 26 of its past 36 games and is now 33-36. The White Sox were once 13 games over .500.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura had some choice words for his team prior to its loss to Cleveland on Sunday, but after the game he was trying to keep hope alive.
“You realize you can go through tough stretches and excruciating stretches,'' Ventura told the Chicago Sun-Times. “But if you get hot, you can get right back in it.
“For me, it's about these guys and being able to come in here and get something out of it that day.”
White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.74 ERA) allowed a season-high seven runs over 3 1/3 innings against Detroit in his last start. Now he'll face the Red Sox, who lead MLB in runs scored.