Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox have had multiple opportunities to move up in the standings over the last two weeks but seem to be stuck in neutral. The Red Sox will try to pull out of a brief slide and turn the momentum back in a positive direction when they host the surging Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series on Monday.
Boston dropped six of its last 10 games, including two of three to the Los Angeles Angels to begin the seven-game homestand, and remains in a virtual first-place tie with the New York Yankees in the American League East. The Red Sox managed a total of five runs in losses on Saturday and Sunday, going a combined 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position while leaving 11 men on base. The Twins went through their own funk recently that put their position atop the AL Central in jeopardy but pulled out of it with wins in five of six, including a three-game sweep at Cleveland over the weekend in which they outscored the rival Indians 13-2 to retake first place. Minnesota will try to keep the stellar pitching performances coming behind Jose Berrios on Monday while Boston counters with ace Chris Sale.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Jose Berrios (7-1, 2.67 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Chris Sale (9-3, 2.85)
Berrios is establishing himself as one of the best young starters in the AL and is enjoying a streak of four straight wins. The 23-year-old went eight innings in each of his last two starts while allowing a total of four runs and striking out 14 with two walks. Berrios is making his first career start against the Red Sox and is 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA in four road starts.
Sale leads the majors with 146 strikeouts and punched out 10 over 8 1/3 innings in a win at Kansas City on Tuesday. The Florida native has issued just 19 walks in 107 1/3 innings but surrendered a pair of home runs against the Royals to snap a stretch of three straight outings without a long ball. Sale struck out 10 in six innings and got plenty of support in a win at Minnesota on May 7 that ended up a 17-6 final in favor of Boston.
1. Red Sox LHP David Price has a cracked fingernail on his pitching hand but is expected to make his next start.
2. Minnesota 1B Joe Mauer is 7-for-14 over the last four games.
3. Boston RF Mookie Betts is 3-for-24 over his last six contests.