Current Conditions - Minneapolis
T-STORM 55 °F
Wind: E 12
Boston Red Sox (25-17) at Minnesota Twins (18-20)
Saturday, May 18 - 7:10 PM EST
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The bounces that weren’t going the Boston Red Sox’s way during a rough stretch have started to turn in their favor over the last few games. The Red Sox will be looking to run their winning streak to four when they continue a three-game series at the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Boston had dropped nine of 11 before breaking out in a 9-2 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The Red Sox followed that up with a ninth-inning comeback on Thursday and won in extra innings Friday.
One common theme in the last three games for Boston has been strong starting pitching, with the starters keeping the team in the game until the offense can catch up late. Jonny Gomes scored the tying run in the seventh and drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th Friday in a rare start against right-handed pitching. The Twins took three straight in Boston from May 7-9 but have dropped five of seven since. Joe Mauer and his 14-game hitting streak got Friday night off due to a sore back and the rest of the offense failed to make up the difference with four hits in 10 innings.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), Fox Sports North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.75 ERA) vs. Twins LH Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08)
Dempster suffered through his worst start of the season last time out, when he was reached for six runs and seven hits - three homers - in five innings to absorb a loss against Toronto. The veteran right-hander has surrendered two earned runs or fewer in five of his eight turns. He yielded four runs (two earned) and five hits in seven innings while striking out eight against Minnesota on May 7 but suffered the loss.
Diamond got the better of Dempster at Fenway Park 11 days ago, surrendering three hits in seven scoreless innings to pick up the win. He was not nearly as sharp against Baltimore on Sunday, when the left-hander was lit up for six runs and nine hits - three homers - in 5 2/3 innings. That snapped a string of four straight quality starts for the 26-year-old.
1. Twins OF Darin Mastroianni is scheduled to have surgery to repair a bone chip in his left ankle next week. He is expected to miss six weeks.
2. Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts to snap an 11-game hitting streak on Friday. He is 4-for-9 with a home run in his career against Dempster.
3. Boston C David Ross (concussion) is still dealing with symptoms and will not join the team in Minnesota. He has been out since Sunday and will be checked again on Monday.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 7, Twins 3