Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins
When: 8:10 PM ET, Monday, June 17, 2019
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
MINNEAPOLIS – The Boston Red Sox have no problem rolling over teams at the bottom of the standings but struggle against teams with winning records. The Red Sox will put a five-game winning streak on the line when they return to competition against top teams while visiting the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game series on Monday.
Boston, which won the World Series last October, is struggling to win consistently while defending that title and lost series against Houston (twice), Cleveland, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays in the last month while earning series wins over Toronto, Kansas City and Baltimore and splitting a four-game set with Texas. The Red Sox come in hot after starting the road trip with three consecutive victories over the Orioles but had to go extra innings on Sunday after squandering a late lead. The Twins (47-23) own the best record in the majors and lead the league in home runs (137) after clubbing two more in an 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday that snapped a three-game winning streak. Minnesota will start the series with ace Jose Berrios on the mound, while Boston counters with former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FS North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (4-6, 4.69 ERA) vs. Twins RH Jose Berrios (8-2, 3.01)
Porcello is winless in his last three starts but held Texas to two runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings without factoring in the decision on Wednesday. The 30-year-old New Jersey native kept the ball in the park and did not walk a batter against the Rangers and left in position for a win before the bullpen squandered a lead. Porcello was strong in a start at Minnesota last season on June 21 when he yielded one hit in seven scoreless innings.
Berrios is looking for his fifth straight quality start and was strong against Seattle on Wednesday, yielding one run – a solo homer – and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings without factoring in the decision. The 25-year-old owns 84 strikeouts and 17 walks in 89 2/3 innings and is limiting opponents to a .238 batting average. Berrios scattered one run and five hits over 6 1/3 innings at home against Boston last season but lasted only 4 2/3 frames while allowing three runs and nine hits in a start at Fenway Park on July 29.
- Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi (quad) was scratched from Sunday’s lineup and is day-to-day.
- Twins CF Byron Buxton (wrist) sat out the last two games and is day-to-day.
- Minnesota DH Nelson Cruz has homered six times in his last nine games.