Game #31 – Cleveland Indians (17-13) vs. Boston Red Sox (12-18)
By Matthew Van Wormer
The end of the home stand did not go as planned as the Chicago White Sox lit up the Indians for eight total runs on Wednesday night and won, 8-1. Jeanmar Gomez had, by far, his worst outing of the season and the Indians bats were nearly silent as Jake Peavy scattered seven of the Indians hits and gave up the Tribe’s only run in his last inning of work.
The Indians, still in first place in the Central Division, now head to Boston to take on a potent offense that hasn’t had much pitching to go along with it. The Red Sox are averaging 5.4 runs per game but are giving up just a little bit more (5.7). The Indians will have to deal with Boston’s ace right off the bat.
Josh Beckett (2-3, 4.45 ERA) has not been putting up the numbers many people expected. He has given up 16 runs in just 32.1 innings of work and has also surrendered seven home runs. Beckett hasn’t pitched since April 29 as he has been sidelined with shoulder soreness. We will see tonight if the extra rest puts him back on track.
Johnny Damon might be looking forward to facing his old teammate as he has two home runs and five doubles against Beckett. Carlos Santana, on the other hand, is hitless in seven career at-bats against the righty, with three strike outs. Hopefully, another member of that 2004 championship drought breaking team will get the win tonight in Boston.
That, of course, would be Derek Lowe (4-1, 2.39 ERA). Lowe is still friends with lots of guys that play for the Red Sox, as he actually flew out to Boston a day early to catch up with some of the guys. Don’t get upset though, Lowe definitely wants to earn a win tonight against his old ‘mates. Lowe did a great job in his last start against the Rangers, going six innings, giving up just two runs and keeping his team in a ballgame that they would eventually lose in extra innings, 5-2.
Lowe is averaging a little over seven hits and just two walks per game. He will have to keep those numbers down, again, in his old stomping grounds of Fenway Park. Lifetime at the 100-year old ballpark, Lowe is 42-24 with a 3.13 ERA. In 194 games at Fenway, he has given up just 28 home runs, good for about .15 per game.
The Indians bats will have their hands full but tonight is as good a night as any for them to break out of their slump. The get started on Yawkey Way at 7:10 on SportsTime Ohio and the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images