In the four seasons Terry Francona managed the Philadelphia Phillies, they never finished better than eight games under .500.
Francona will manage against his former team for the first time when the Boston Red Sox host the Phillies in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
Francona, who made his managerial debut with Philadelphia in 1997, was fired after the Phillies finished 65-97 in 2000.
As Francona faces his former team, the Red Sox will look for Pedro Martinez to lift them out of their recent slump. Boston has lost four of its last five.
Martinez is 3-0 with a 4.15 ERA over his past six starts. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed four runs and six hits over six innings Saturday, but did not get a decision in Boston’s 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
The Red Sox’s struggles continued on Thursday with a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins in 10 innings.
After Nomar Garciaparra made an exceptional grab of Cristian Guzman’s grounder up the middle in the 10th, he whirled and threw it into the Boston dugout, allowing Guzman to advance to second. Guzman later scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Phillies have also struggled in recent games, dropping four of their last six. Philadelphia managed just five hits in a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Expos on Thursday.
Although the Phillies have struggled recently, Jim Thome has been one of the hottest hitters in the majors. The reigning NL player of the week is 6-for-11 (.545) with seven RBIs in his last four games.
Thome, who leads the majors with 24 homers, has hit 12 this month—two shy of Mike Schmidt’s franchise record for June, set in 1977.
The Phillies won two of three against the Red Sox last season at Veterans Stadium.