LA Angels at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, August 8, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Special to Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
If the Boston Red Sox fail to make it to the playoffs, there will be plenty of blame to go around for the reigning World Series champions. One player who will receive the brunt of the criticism is ace left-hander Chris Sale, who has won only once at Fenway Park entering Thursday’s start against the Los Angeles Angels in the opener of a four-game series.
While Sale’s streak of seven straight double-digit wins is in jeopardy, he has never lost to the Angels, owning a 6-0 mark and 1.23 ERA in nine appearances. Boston had dropped nine of 10, giving up 69 runs in that span, before Wednesday’s series finale against visiting Kansas City was suspended in the top of the 10th inning and will resume on Aug. 22 at 1:05 p.m.
Much like Boston, the Angels have been mired in a tailspin and have dropped six in a row, a span in which they have been outscored 44-16. Mike Trout, bidding for his third MVP award in six seasons, has homered four times during a six-game hitting streak to boost his American League-leading total to 38.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN West (Los Angeles), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels LH Dillon Peters (2-0, 3.20 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Chris Sale (5-11, 4.68)
Making only his seventh appearance of the year, Peters did not factor in the decision last time out at Cleveland after giving up three runs and eight hits over 7 2/3 innings in relief — the longest outing by a Los Angeles pitcher this season. He was knocked around for five runs (two earned) over four innings in another no-decision versus Baltimore on July 27. Peters is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three appearances on the road as he prepares to face Boston for the first time.
Sale may have torpedoed any chances Boston had of earning a wild-card spot after consecutive ugly starts against the rival New York Yankees in his last two trips to the mound. The 30-year-old fireballer was reached for six runs over 5 1/3 innings on June 28 and following that up by getting pounded for eight runs over 3 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Sale has stymied two of the Angels’ biggest stars, holding Albert Pujols to 2-for-21 and Trout to 5-for-17.
- Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez is batting .307 in 41 games versus Los Angeles.
- Trout is a lifetime .350 hitter at Fenway Park but he has yet to homer in 19 games.
- Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia underwent another surgery on his left knee, officially ending his season.