Philadelphia Phillies at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox were slow out of the gate before coming up lame down the stretch to drop the opener of their short, two-game interleague series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Red Sox will look for a more complete effort today, especially on the base paths, when the teams reconvene at Fenway Park.
Jean Segura continued his hot streak with a two-run double before coming home on Scott Kingery’s single in a three-run first inning for Philadelphia, which benefited from Boston’s base-running blunder in the ninth to secure its fifth win in seven outings. Segura has four doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored during his four-game hitting streak heading into an encounter with right-hander Rick Porcello, against whom he is 4-for-9 with a solo homer.
Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to eight games with a double to lead off the ninth before his ill-advised decision to run toward third on a grounder to shortstop led to the first out of the inning. The 26-year-old has 13 hits and seven RBIs in his last eight contests for the Red Sox, who reside six games out of the final wild-card spot in the American League.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCS Philadelphia, NESN (Boston).
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies LH Drew Smyly (2-6, 7.09 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (11-9, 5.49)
Smyly bolted out of the blocks in his first two starts with Philadelphia before stumbling in his last three trips to the mound, surrendering 14 earned runs and six homers in 15 2/3 innings. The 30-year-old received his second straight no-decision on Thursday, however, despite allowing five runs on seven hits in five frames against the Chicago Cubs. Jackie Bradley Jr. (2-for-11, four strikeouts) and J.D. Martinez (0-for-6, four strikeouts) have struggled against Smyly, who sports a 3-1 mark with a 2.18 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 10 career appearances (eight starts) versus Boston.
Porcello continued his trend of alternating good and bad performances over his last six starts on Friday after permitting one run on four hits in six innings of a 9-1 romp versus Baltimore. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award recipient kept the ball in the park against the Orioles after surrendering 12 homers over his previous seven outings. Bryce Harper (0-for-7, three strikeouts) has been flustered by Porcello, who owns a 2-1 record with a 4.32 ERA in four career starts versus the Phillies.
- Philadelphia C J.T. Realmuto is 0-for-8 in his last two contests after going 12-for-23 with four homers, nine RBIs and eight runs scored in a six-game span.
- Boston RF Mookie Betts is 9-for-25 with seven extra-base hits and eight runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.
- Harper is 8-for-21 with four homers, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored in his last six contests.