Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox ended a frustrating eight-game slide by holding on in the series opener and look to post back-to-back wins when they host the struggling Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. Rafael Devers and Sam Travis both went deep to extend Boston’s streak to a season-high 12 contests with at least one homer in Monday’s 7-5 victory, which put it within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot in the American League.
“We’ve got to win series. That’s the bottom line,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters before Monday’s game. “If you win every series from now on, you put yourself in a good spot. … We can’t talk about it, ‘We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.’ Right now, we’re not fine.”
Andrew Cashner will try to get his act in gear after a rough start to his tenure with Boston when he starts opposite Jakob Junis, who has dropped his last two decisions. The Royals are mired in a seven-game losing streak and have lost 10 of 11 since playing some of their best baseball immediately after the All-Star break, but they did belt three homers on Monday in a valiant comeback attempt. Kansas City rookie Bubba Starling hit one of the shots – a three-run blast in the eight inning – after going just 2-for-21 with one RBI and 11 strikeouts over a six-game stretch.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jakob Junis (6-10, 5.03 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Andrew Cashner (10-6, 4.44)
Junis had trouble in his last two starts, allowing 10 runs and 16 hits (three homers) in losses to Toronto and Cleveland, after two of his better outings of the season. The 26-year-old native of Illinois yielded three runs over 20 frames in three turns before his current struggles. Andrew Benintendi is 4-for-6 with a double and Devers 3-for-6 with three two-base hits versus Junis, who gave up six runs over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to Boston on June 5.
Cashner has posted just one quality start in his first four outings since being acquired from Baltimore and permitted seven runs – six earned – over 5 2/3 innings in a loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. The 32-year-old Texan notched his first win with the Red Sox in his previous start by holding the New York Yankees to three runs in 6 2/3 frames. Cam Gallagher and Hunter Dozier homered against Cashner, who went 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts versus the Royals last year.
- Boston OF-DH J.D. Martinez, who has gone 5-for-12 in his last four games, was scratched from Monday’s lineup due to back tightness.
- The Royals have committed multiple errors five times since the All-Star break but are tied for fewest in the AL overall with 51.
- Kansas City OF-INF Whit Merrifield notched two hits on Monday after going hitless in back-to-back games for the first time since early last September.