Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians
When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, August 12, 2019
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians hope to continue their surge by moving into sole possession of first place in the American League Central when they host the fading Boston Red Sox to open a three-game series Monday night. The Indians took three out of four in Minnesota to end last week, capped by a 7-3 victory on Sunday, to tie the Twins for the top spot in the division and are a league-best 42-17 since June 4.
Carlos Santana leads Cleveland with 25 homers and 70 RBIs after launching a tie-breaking grand slam in the top of the 10th inning Sunday, while teammate Yasiel Puig added an RBI double and is 15-for-42 with six runs batted in over 11 games since being acquired from Cincinnati. Right-hander Zach Plesac looks to keep his impressive rookie campaign going when he takes the mound for the Indians in the series opener, while Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez goes after his career-high 14th victory.
The Red Sox split four contests against the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend and are just 3-11 in their past 14 contests to fall 7 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay in the race for the AL’s second wild card. J.D. Martinez had a single in Sunday’s 5-4 loss in 10 innings for Boston and has hit safely in 10 straight games (17-for-38) – the third time this season he has built a double-figure hit streak.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, NESN (Boston), STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5, 4.17 ERA) vs. Indians RH Zach Plesac (6-3, 3.13)
Rodriguez has limited opponents to two or fewer runs in six of his past eight games, including Wednesday in a no-decision when Kansas City scored twice on seven hits over five innings. The 26-year-old Venezuelan has suffered just one loss since June 9, but he has not been as sharp lately while allowing a total of nine runs over 17 1/3 innings in his past three starts. Roberto Perez has homered versus Rodriguez, who is 7-4 with a 4.46 ERA in 12 road starts this year.
Plesac is unbeaten in his last six trips to the mound after holding Texas to five hits over six scoreless innings in a no-decision on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Ball State product has given up two runs or fewer in four of his past five outings and served up a total of two homers in the last six after permitting nine in his first seven games. Plesac yielded one run on four hits and a walk in his major-league debut on May 28 at Boston but was not involved in the decision.
- Boston SS Xander Bogaerts needs one homer to become the 31st player in franchise history to reach 100.
- Cleveland’s rookie OF Oscar Mercado was 6-for-15 with six runs scored as the Indians took two of three at Boston from May 27-29.
- Red Sox C Christian Vazquez has 18 homers in 2019 after managing 10 combined in parts of his first four seasons.