Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers (-150, 7.5)
The Boston Red Sox can’t stop streaking. The Red Sox lost 10, won seven and will try to end their latest skid at five and avoid a sweep when they visit the Detroit Tigers for the finale of a three-game series on Sunday. The Tigers came into the set in a rough patch but are taking advantage of Boston’s starting pitching slump while gaining some small revenge against the Red Sox after falling to them in the American League Championship Series last fall.
Detroit took three straight at Fenway Park last month and dominated the first two games of this series, including knocking Boston ace Jon Lester around for five runs and 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings in Saturday’s 8-6 triumph. That sweep by the Tigers from May 16-18 marked the first of seven straight series that would end in sweeps for the Red Sox (three on the positive side), a string they will try to snap on Sunday. Boston came alive in the late innings on Saturday and received strong production from the top of the order in a 15-hit performance.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH John Lackey (6-4, 3.28 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 2.15)
Lackey suffered a complete-game loss at Cleveland on Monday, surrendering three runs on eight hits and coming out on the wrong end of a 3-0 final. The veteran had combined for 13 1/3 scoreless innings over his previous two starts and has issued a total of three walks in his last three turns. Lackey had a string of four straight quality starts come to an end against Detroit on May 17, when he was reached for six runs – five earned – and nine hits in 5 1/3 frames.
Sanchez has yet to allow more than three earned runs in an outing and went seven scoreless frames while yielding two hits and striking out five against Toronto on Tuesday. The 30-year-old is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his last four starts, a run that began with a solid turn at Boston. Sanchez earned a win on May 18 while holding the Red Sox to two runs – one earned – and five hits in five innings.
* Road team is 5-0 in Hamaris last five games behind home plate.
* Red Sox are 0-5 in the last five meetings.
* Tigers are 2-6 in Sanchez's last eight home starts.
* Under is 9-1 in Lackey's last 10 starts as an underdog.
1. Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (knee) had a scheduled simulated game pushed back from Saturday to Sunday due to field availability.
2. Tigers C Alex Avila, who was hit on the backswing by David Ortiz in Friday’s series opener, was held out of Saturday’s lineup as a precaution. He is considered day-to-day.
3. Boston 1B Mike Napoli (finger, calf) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.