Cleveland Indians at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – Slugger J.D. Martinez looks to continue his success against Cleveland pitching when the Boston Red Sox host the stumbling Indians for the second of a three-game set Tuesday night. Martinez entered the series 1-for-14 in his previous five games overall but launched two solo homers in Monday’s 12-5 victory to push his career totals to 20 blasts and 56 RBIs against the Indians – both the most against any team in the majors.
The reigning World Series champion Red Sox are 18-8 in their last 26 contests after a slow start to the season, and 22-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers is playing a big role with an eight-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-36 with four homers to raise his batting average from .307 to .327. Left-hander David Price, who has been slowed by illness recently, is slated to take the mound for Boston (29-25) in Tuesday’s contest, while right-hander Zach Plesac makes his major-league debut for Cleveland.
The Indians tumbled under the .500 mark (26-27) after losing for the seventh time in eight games Tuesday and dropped 2 1/2 games out in the American League wild-card race. One of the bright spots for Cleveland during a rough stretch has been the play of rookie outfielder Oscar Mercado, who had two hits Monday and is 10-for-31 with a homer, four RBIs and nine runs scored in his first 10 major-league contests.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, STO (Cleveland), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Zach Plesac (NR) vs. Red Sox LH David Price (2-2, 3.24 ERA)
Plesac, the nephew of former major-league relief pitcher Dan Plesac, was drafted in the 12th round out of Ball State in 2016 and is 16-9 with a 2.99 ERA in 49 minor-league games (48 starts). The 24-year-old is a combined 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA in nine starts at Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this year to earn his first chance with the Indians. Plesac struck out 22 and walked just one over 20 innings in his last three starts with Columbus.
Price threw just 15 pitches to three batters on Saturday against Houston before manager Alex Cora pulled the 33-year-old, who was still struggling with flu-like symptoms. The Vanderbilt product has limited opponents to three or fewer runs in each of his last five full starts, beating Toronto after permitting two unearned runs over five innings on May 20. Carlos Santana is 11-for-34 with four doubles versus Price, who is 11-2 with a 2.06 ERA in 15 career starts against Cleveland.
- Cleveland 2B Jason Kipnis had two hits Monday and has reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 contests.
- Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia, the AL MVP in 2008, announced Monday he is taking an indefinite leave as he deals with a lingering knee injury.
- The Indians have been outscored 50-24 over the last eight games and are 14th in the AL in runs scored (203).