Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – Dismal starting pitching has been the biggest culprit during the current tailspin of the Boston Red Sox, who have lost nine of 10 entering the rubber match of a three-game set versus the visiting Kansas City Royals tonight at Fenway. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will go for his 14th win for Boston, which attempts to salvage a series win against Kansas City.
Boston’s rotation posted a 10.95 ERA during an eight-game slide that ended with Monday’s 7-5 victory, but another ragged start in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss pushed the overall total to 69 runs allowed during the 1-9 swoon. Andrew Benintendi has five RBIs during a three-game hitting streak and 14 in the last 11 contests for the Red Sox, who trail Tampa Bay by 6 1/2 games for the second wild card. Jorge Soler swatted a pair of two-run homers as the Royals ended a seven-game skid overall and an eight-game slide versus Boston. Soler, whose previous high was 12 homers in 2016, became Kansas City’s first right-handed batter to reach 30 since Jermaine Dye in 2000.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.58 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5, 4.19)
Sparkman was superb in his first start coming out of the All-Star break, striking out eight in a five-hit shutout of the Chicago White Sox, but he has been hit hard in three subsequent starts. The 27-year-old escaped with a no-decision despite allowing six runs over 4 2/3 innings at Minnesota, pushing his numbers in the last three starts to 19 runs and 24 hits allowed, including six home runs. Benintendi has three doubles in five at-bats versus Sparkman.
Rodriguez suffered his first loss in early two months against the New York Yankees on Friday night, giving up four runs on five hits and a season-high six walks over 6 2/3 innings. It ended a five-start winning streak and a string of seven straight victories for the 26-year-old Venezuelan, who beat Kansas City with 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball on June 4. Rodriguez is 6-1 in 11 home starts, but he must be wary of Whit Merrifield (5-for-9) and Alex Gordon (4-for-10).
- The Red Sox had two streaks snapped — 18 straight games with a home run at Fenway and 12 in a row overall with a homer.
- Soler became the second player in franchise history with at least two homers and two walks in one game.
- Red Sox 1B J.D. Martinez, who returned from a one-game absence Tuesday, has hit safely in five in a row.