Boston at Philadelphia
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA – The Boston Red Sox lead the majors in runs scored among a bevy of other offensive categories, but the Sox arsenal of players haven’t crossed the plate much this season against the Philadelphia Phillies. Runs could be at a premium once again on Wednesday as the sizzling Red Sox (86-35) vie for a sweep of their abbreviated two-game series versus the Phillies (65-53) at Citizens Bank Park.
Brock Holt belted a pinch-hit, go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and Sandy Leon also went deep for Boston, which recorded its second 2-1 win over Philadelphia this season in Tuesday’s opener. Holt has two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored during his six-game hitting streak for the Red Sox, who posted their fifth straight win and 11th in 12 outings while improving to 2-1 versus the Phillies this season despite scoring just five runs. Philadelphia’s slumping slugger Rhys Hoskins launched a solo homer to improve to 4-for-11 with four extra-base hits (three doubles, homer) against Boston this season. Odubel Herrera had the lone other hit for the Phillies, who have mustered just nine runs en route to losing four of their last five to drop two games behind National League East-leading Atlanta.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, NESN (Boston), NBCS Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.74 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Vince Velasquez (8-9, 3.98)
Eovaldi answered two scoreless starts by allowing eight runs for the second time in five outings on Friday in a no-decision against Baltimore. The 28-year-old, who permitted a season-high 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings versus the Orioles, was blitzed for eight runs at Minnesota on July 13 while pitching with Tampa Bay. Asdrubal Cabrera is 2-for-14 with five strikeouts against Eovaldi, who sports a 3-4 mark with a 3.51 ERA in nine career starts versus Philadelphia.
Velasquez suffered his first loss since June 25 last Wednesday after yielding four runs in as many innings of a 6-0 setback at Arizona. The run total was the largest for the 26-year-old since June 19, when he permitted four on two homers in 6 1/3 frames of a no-decision against St. Louis. Velasquez won his lone career start versus Boston while pitching for Houston during his rookie season in 2015, allowing three runs and striking out seven in six innings.
1. Philadelphia 1B Carlos Santana is mired in a 3-for-27 stretch over his last eight contests.
2. Boston RF Mookie Betts is 16-for-36 with two homers, six RBIs and 12 runs scored during a nine-game hitting streak.
3. Five of the last seven games between the Red Sox and Phillies have been decided by one run.