Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
DETROIT – The Boston Red Sox look to build off their historic first half of the season when they begin a six-game road trip following the All-Star break with the first of three against the struggling Detroit Tigers on Friday night. The Red Sox (68-30) averaged seven runs while going 12-1 in their last 13 contests and lead the second-place New York Yankees by 4 1/2 games in the American League East while moving to 38 over .500 for the first time since 1949.“I think we did great. I think the record shows,” Boston’s Mookie Betts, who leads the majors with a .359 batting average (.436 in July), told reporters. “We were pretty much in every game, had a chance to win every game and we won a lot of them.” David Price gets the start on Friday for the Red Sox against his former team while looking for an 11th victory and the Tigers counter with fellow left-hander Matthew Boyd, who has struggled since a solid beginning to his campaign. Detroit was in the hunt in the AL Central in mid-June, but has dropped 20 of its last 25 contests despite snapping a six-game losing streak Sunday with a 6-3 win at Houston. Right fielder Nicholas Castellanos has been the most dependable offensive player for the Tigers, leading the team in hits (115), doubles (29), homers (15), runs (54), RBIs (56) and batting average (.305).
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), FS Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH David Price (10-6, 4.42 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Matthew Boyd (4-8, 4.76)
Price struck out eight and allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings to beat Toronto in his last start before the break after being pounded for 12 runs across eight innings in the previous two. The 32-year-old Vanderbilt product still gave up two homers in his last outing on July 12 and served up 11 longballs in his past five starts after permitting seven in his first 14 of 2018. Victor Martinez is 8-for-17 with three homers versus Price, who is 5-1 with a 2.40 ERA against the Tigers in his career.
Boyd is winless in his last six outings, managing one quality start during that stretch while going 0-4 with a combined 8.68 ERA. The 32-year-old Oregon State product, who is 3-2 with a 3.57 ERA in eight starts at home, struck out eight and yielded five runs on four hits and a walk over six innings in a loss at Tampa Bay on July 10 in his last start. Mitch Moreland is 5-for-14 with a homer against Boyd, who beat Boston on June 7 with 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball to improve to 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA in three career games versus Boston.
1. Detroit CF Leonys Martin (hamstring), who is batting .257 with nine homers and 29 RBIs, could return to the lineup as early as Friday.
2. Boston SS Xander Bogaerts is 9-for-25 with two homers and 10 RBIs during his current six-game hitting streak.
3. Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi will be back from bereavement break after a death in his family. He went 5-for-15 with two homers as his team took two of three against the Tigers from June 5-7.