Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals
When: 8:15 PM ET, Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
KANSAS CITY – The Boston Red Sox avoided a sweep in the Bronx over the weekend but are still not where they need to be to compete in the American League East. The Red Sox will try to get themselves right against the struggling Kansas City Royals when they visit for the opener of a three-game series.
Boston earned an 8-5 victory Sunday but is only one game over .500 and is lagging behind the Yankees and the Rays in the East with another key series looming next weekend when Tampa Bay visits for four games in three days. The Red Sox struggled in relief in a pair of losses against Cleveland and then could not get the bats to work in two setbacks at New York before J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts homered to spark Sunday’s victory.
The Royals know all about struggling with the bats as they managed a total of five runs in three straight losses at Texas over the weekend, dropping them to 2-9 over the last 11 games. Kansas City is opening a nine-game homestand Tuesday and will send right-hander Glenn Sparkman to the mound to oppose Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FS Kansas City
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (5-3, 5.04 ERA) vs. Royals RH Glenn Sparkman (1-1, 4.21)
Rodriguez has been off since May 26 after a rainout in New York pushed him back and will be trying to find the form he showed in his last outing, when he held the Houston Astros to one run and four hits over six innings to earn a win. The 26-year-old Venezuela native was knocked around for a total of 11 runs and 15 hits over 11 frames in his previous two turns. Rodriguez was reached for five runs on as many hits and three walks over four innings in his lone start against Kansas City last season but did not factor in the decision.
Sparkman is making his third start among 11 appearances and only lasted into the second inning in a start at Chicago on Wednesday, when he was ejected for throwing at White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. Sparkman, who was charged with four runs in one-plus innings in that outing, was much better in his first start, when he held the Tampa Bay Rays scoreless on three hits over seven innings May 1. The 27-year-old was reached for three runs and four hits over 1 2/3 innings in a relief appearance against Boston last season.
- Royals C Martin Maldonado (forearm) sat out Sunday and is day-to-day.
- Boston OF and reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts 3-for-21 over the last five games.
- Kansas City SS Adalberto Mondesi leads the majors with eight triples, one more than teammate Whit Merrifield.