After scoring six unearned runs in the opener, the Red Sox look to expand their lead in the AL wild-card race as they continue a four-game series with the White Sox on Tuesday.
Boston (71-53) was looking to bounce back after losing two of three against New York over the weekend to fall 7 1/2 games back in the AL East standings. The Red Sox got their second series in a 10-game homestand off to a good start, beating Chicago (63-62) 12-8 on Monday.
The White Sox committed two errors in the loss, including one by starter Jose Contreras(notes). After hitting Kevin Youkilis(notes) to load the bases, Contreras fumbled David Ortiz’s(notes) softly hit roller toward first base to prolong the inning. He then walked Jason Bay(notes) and threw a wild pitch before giving up a three-run homer to Mike Lowell(notes) to cap the six-run inning.
It was the third time in four games that the Red Sox, who are 1 1/2 games ahead of Texas in the AL wild-card race, have scored at least 11 runs. They’ve totaled 65 in the last seven contests while hitting 16 home runs.
“I don’t think it’s fair to think we’re going to go out there and score 12 a game,” Bay said. “At the same time, I don’t think there’s one guy in here that’s surprised at this little run we’ve been on.”
The White Sox have committed an AL-worst 95 errors that have led to a league-high 62 unearned runs.
“We didn’t lose the game, we gave it away,” manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Red Sox will hand the ball to Jon Lester(notes) (10-7, 3.58 ERA), who allowed one run and three hits over eight innings of an 8-1 victory over Toronto on Thursday. It was his first win in five starts after failing to receive a decision in his previous four outings.
The left-hander has split two starts against the White Sox, allowing six runs and 12 hits in 13 innings. This is his first time taking the mound at Fenway Park against them.
He’s started in right field in three games in place of slumping Jermaine Dye(notes), who went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Monday, is batting .190 in his last 12 games and hasn’t driven in a run in his last seven contests.
Freddy Garcia(notes) (0-1, 10.38) will start for Chicago after struggling in his 2009 debut. Garcia, who has battled injuries since being traded from the White Sox in 2006, allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 5-4 loss to Kansas City last Tuesday.
Garcia, whose last start at Fenway Park came in the 2005 AL division series, is 7-2 with a 4.81 ERA in 14 starts against the Red Sox, including 4-1 at Boston.