Boston Red Sox at Arizona
When: 4:10 PM ET, Sunday, April 7, 2019
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
PHOENIX – Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora understands the growing concern about his struggling team, but he’s learned never to overreact in April. After matching the worst start in franchise history through 10 games (2-8), the Red Sox look to avoid a three-game sweep against the host Arizona Diamondbacks.
Carson Kelly recorded two hits and three RBIs in Saturday’s 5-4 win as the Diamondbacks moved above .500 for the first time this season at 5-4. Adam Jones continued his hot start with two hits and an RBI while Eduardo Escobar snapped out of an early-season slump with three hits against the defending World Series champions. Xander Bogaerts went 0-for-3 and Mookie Betts was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Saturday’s loss, but Cora believes his star players will return to form soon. “It’s always cool that so many people are worried about us,” Cora told reporters. “That’s part of the process. I keep telling the guys that we will be back, and we will play good baseball.”
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FS Arizona
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Hector Velazquez (0-0, 4.76 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Merrill Kelly (1-0, 4.50)
Boston is turning to Velazquez as part of its plan to use a sixth starter on the last day of the team’s 11-game road trip. The 30-year-old Mexican owns a 10-3 record with a 3.20 ERA in 58 career games (11 starts) with the Red Sox. “He’s pitched in high-level situations and been amazing for us,” Cora told reporters. “We trust the guy. We need zeros. We need him to pitch well. All outs are welcomed.”
Kelly impressed in his first major-league start on Monday, allowing three runs over six frames in a 10-3 win over San Diego. The 30-year-old, who spent the last four years in the Korea Baseball Organization, yielded five hits after carrying a shutout into the sixth inning. “I took a minute before I threw the first pitch and kind of took in the surroundings, just so I could have that memory before I stepped on the rubber,” Kelly told reporters. “Once I got going, it was good.”
1. Boston LHP Chris Sale will start Tuesday’s home opener against Toronto.
2. Arizona is 16-6 in its last 21 interleague games at home.
3. The Red Sox placed INF Brock Holt (eye) and LHP Brian Johnson (elbow) on the 10-day injured list while recalling RHP Marcus Walden and SS Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket.