Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, September 5, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox are running out of games to make up ground in the wild-card race, but for one night they looked the part of the defending World Series champions thanks to their reigning American League MVP. With a huge series against their bitter rival on deck, the Red Sox will host the Minnesota Twins tonight in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Mookie Betts homered twice as part of a four-hit, five-RBI game as Boston rebounded from a 6-5 loss in the series opener with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night. Betts became the 12th player in history with 10 games of five RBIs before the age of 27 to keep the Red Sox within 5 1/2 games of the second wild card.
The Twins lost for only the second time in 11 contests and had their lead in the AL Central sliced to 5 1/2 games over Cleveland. Eddie Rosario has nine RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak after clubbing a two-run shot Wednesday for Minnesota, which is 7-2 entering the finale of its 10-game road trip.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins LH Martín Pérez (9-6, 4.89 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 6.23)
Perez matched his shortest outing of the season on Saturday at Detroit, lasting only 2 2/3 innings and getting whacked for eight runs (seven earned) and nine hits in a losing effort. He beat the Tigers in his previous turn, allowing two runs and five hits over six innings on Aug. 25, capping a three-start stretch in which he yielded four earned runs over 17 innings. Betts is 4-for-11 versus Perez, who owns a 2-2 record and 5.68 ERA in seven starts against the Red Sox.
The plan to move Eovaldi into the closer’s role was shelved due to injuries in the rotation, but that also has limited his workload since he was shifted back to a starter. He turned in his longest outing since April at the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, striking out eight and allowing one run and three hits over four innings. Max Kepler is 3-for-6 with a pair of homers off Eovaldi, who dominated the Twins at home in July 2018 two weeks after he was hammered in Minnesota.
- Kepler exited Wednesday’s game due to soreness in his upper chest.
- The Red Sox have an extra-base hit in 153 straight games — the fourth-longest streak in history.
- Twins RHP Sam Dyson was sent back to Minnesota due to recurring soreness in his biceps.