Boston visits Kansas City, aims to build on Sale's strong performance
Boston Red Sox (32-29, third in the AL East) vs. Kansas City Royals (19-42, fifth in the AL Central)
Kansas City, Kansas; Thursday, 1:15 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Red Sox: Ryan Weber (1-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 13 strikeouts) Royals: Danny Duffy (3-2, 4.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 33 strikeouts)
BOTTOM LINE: Boston heads into the matchup after a dominant performance by Chris Sale. Sale threw nine innings, giving up zero runs on three hits with 12 strikeouts against Kansas City.
The Royals are 11-19 in home games. The Kansas City pitching staff has a team ERA of 5.30, Brad Keller paces the staff with a mark of 4.50.
The Red Sox are 18-17 on the road. The Boston offense has compiled a .261 batting average as a team this season, good for fifth in the American League. Rafael Devers leads the team with an average of .316. The Red Sox won the last meeting 8-0. Chris Sale notched his second victory and Devers went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBIs for Boston. Jakob Junis registered his sixth loss for Kansas City.
TOP PERFORMERS: Whit Merrifield leads the Royals with 74 hits and is batting .294. Adalberto Mondesi is 9-for-40 with three doubles, a triple, a home run and an RBI over the last 10 games for Kansas City.
Xander Bogaerts leads the Red Sox with 40 RBIs and is batting .298. Devers is 14-for-45 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Boston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Royals: 2-8, .243 batting average, 5.38 ERA, outscored by 25 runs
Red Sox: 5-5, .285 batting average, 4.76 ERA, outscored opponents by 13 runs
Royals Injuries: Trevor Oaks: 60-day IL (hip), Jesse Hahn: 60-day IL (elbow), Lucas Duda: 10-day IL (lumbar strain), Hunter Dozier: 10-day IL (chest), Salvador Perez: 60-day IL (elbow).
Red Sox Injuries: Hector Velazquez: 10-day IL (back), Tyler Thornburg: 10-day IL (hip), Brian Johnson: 10-day IL (elbow), Nathan Eovaldi: 10-day IL (elbow), Dustin Pedroia: 60-day IL (knee), Steve Pearce: 10-day IL (back), Mitch Moreland: 10-day IL (back), Tzu-Wei Lin: 10-day IL (knee).