Red Sox-Phillies series preview
|05.27.13 at 8:35 am ET|
Interleague play will begin for the Red Sox on Monday, with the Phillies coming to town. The Sox and Phillies will play a two-and-two set, with the first pair of games being played in Boston on Monday and Tuesday before the two teams head to Philadelphia to finish the four-game season series on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Red Sox are riding high after an invigorating walk-off win on Sunday afternoon. Down three runs in the ninth, the Sox rallied and pushed across two runs, and with two outs, Jonny Gomes drew a walk, Stephen Drew singled and Jose Iglesias battled to work a walk before Jacoby Ellsbury lined a two-run, game-winning double to center field.
With the walk-off victory, the Red Sox took three of four from the Indians and have won nine of their last 12 games, putting them only percentage points behind the Yankees for the division lead.
The Phillies come to town third place in the NL East at 24-26, 6½ games behind the division-leading Braves. Philadelphia is 12-11 on the month, coming off dropping two of three to the Nationals.
A weak offense has been a big problem for the Phillies, coming into the game with their lineup ranking in the bottom third of almost every offensive category. A recent string of injuries has also hurt, with Roy Halladay, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and John Lannan all hitting the disabled list.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
Monday: Alfredo Aceves (1-1, 8.20) vs. Tyler Cloyd (1-0, 2.70)
Tuesday: Ryan Dempster (2-5, 4.69) vs. Cliff Lee (5-2, 2.48)
Wednesday: John Lackey (3-4, 2.72) vs. Kyle Kendrick (4-3, 3.29)
Thursday: Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (3-0, 3.21)
WHO’S HOT: RED SOX
• Ellsbury had been struggling recently, but he delivered a clutch two-run double to give the Red Sox a walk-off win against the Indians on Sunday afternoon. Ellsbury drove in four runs in the four-game series, reaching base six times with four hits.
• Just recalled from Triple-A, Jose Iglesias has picked up where he left off when he was sent down to the minors back in April. Iglesias was 4-for-8 in the weekend series, notching three hits on Saturday and drawing a walk in a crucial moment in Sunday’s walk-off win. With Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list, Iglesias is taking over third base for now, moving over from shortstop.
WHO’S HOT: PHILLIES
• Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has been nothing short of lights-out this season, coming into the series with nine saves and a 0.96 ERA. Papelbon has struck out 15 batters in his 18 2/3 innings while allowing only 10 hits and two runs, going 9-for-9 in save opportunities. Papelbon allowed both of his runs on the year in his very first outing, going 17 2/3 scoreless innings since then.
• Domonic Brown has started to show some impressive power in his first year as a full-time outfielder for the Phillies. Brown has belted a team-leading nine home runs, and while his OBP slipped under .300 with an 0-for-3 Sunday, Brown is a patient hitter who is capable of taking a walk. The middle-of-the-order hitter also leads the team in RBIs with 27.
WHO’S NOT: RED SOX
• Clayton Mortensen endured one of the worst outings of his career on Thursday against the Indians, allowing five earned runs one five hits and three walks in only two innings after coming in to relieve starter Ryan Dempster. Prior to the appearance, Mortensen had only allowed three runs in 11 1/3 innings pitched this month, but his ERA has risen to 5.25 on the year.
• Dempster has struggled mightily in his last couple of starts, failing to go more than three innings in his most recent outing. Dempster owns a 10.66 ERA over his last three starts, walking 11 while striking out 12. His control has been lacking in his last two appearances, as he walked six in a game against the Twins and four in his last start against the Indians. The righty is scheduled to make his next scheduled start, but his recent performance has been a cause for concern.
WHO’S NOT: PHILLIES
• Cole Hamels received his eighth loss of the season on Sunday, giving up three runs to the Nationals but getting no run support from a weak Phillies lineup. Although the ace owns a 4.43 ERA, high by his standards, he’s been the victim of scarce run support, with the Phillies scoring only 20 runs in the 69 innings Hamels has logged this season.
• The Phillies took a chance signing Delmon Young, who primarily had been a designated hitter for the Tigers, to play outfield for them, hoping his bat could make up for any defensive deficiencies he might display. Young has been mediocre in the field, but the clean-up hitter has struggled at the plate. Young is batting .211/.284/.394 in 22 games with only seven extra-base hits.
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