Detroit Tigers (51-48) at Boston Red Sox (55-41)
Monday, July 25 - 7:10 PM EST
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Red Sox have proven that they can bash their way to victory with just a little help from the pitching staff, though a few more quality innings would ease the burden on the front office heading into the trade deadline. The Red Sox will try to coax a quality start out of their newest pitcher when Drew Pomeranz gets the call in the series opener against the visiting Detroit Tigers on Monday.
Boston split a four-game series against the American League-worst Minnesota Twins over the weekend as the issues in the bullpen flared up again. The Red Sox staff allowed a total of 18 runs on Saturday and Sunday but managed to pull out an 8-7 win in the finale behind three home runs and the first save from right-hander Brad Ziegler, who is taking over closing duties with Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara on the disabled list. The Tigers can relate to issues in the bullpen after splitting a series in Chicago over the weekend which ended with a pair of crushing walk-off defeats on Sunday. Detroit lost a suspended game on a walk-off single in the ninth off Justin Wilson while Bruce Rondon surrendered the winning hit in the regularly-scheduled contest.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Detroit, NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (8-7, 2.83)
Verlander allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts and is coming off the best of the bunch. The former MVP limited the Twins to one run on two hits while striking out nine in eight innings on Wednesday, but did not factor in the decision. Verlander put together a similar effort in his last appearance at Fenway Park on July 24, 2015, when he did not factor in the decision despite allowing one run across eight frames.
Pomeranz is hoping for a better effort in his second start for the Red Sox after being knocked around for five runs and eight hits in three-plus innings in his team debut on Wednesday. The 27-year-old, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres, breezed through the first three innings before struggling in the fourth. Pomeranz is making his first career start against Detroit.
1. Kimbrel (knee) is expected to throw his first bullpen session since undergoing surgery on July 11.
2. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in the last two games.
3. Boston RF Mookie Betts (knee) sat out the last two games but is expected to be back in the lineup on Monday.
PREDICTION: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3