BOSTON – Six games ago, the Red Sox found themselves in a position similar to the one they’re in entering play Saturday -- on the cusp of their first four-game losing streak of the season.
David Price and the offense held fast -- stealing a win at Rogers Centre with the bullpen looking shaky, again. Now, Steven Wright -- Boston’s most reliable starter – will take a crack at putting a stop to what’s probably been the Red Sox' worst stretch of the season - sloppy 13-9 and 12-7 losses in Baltimore and a 5-2 loss Friday to Toronto at Fenway Park.
Wright (5-4, 2.45 ERA) has stepped up for Boston time after time this season, and while the same couldn’t necessarily be said about the other starters, John Farrell trusts the knuckleballer will put an end to the skid.
“He’s done it multiple times already this year,” Farrell said. “He goes out, he throws strikes as he’s done for the better part of this season we’re probably in pretty good shape.”
The Red Sox also get their third shot this season against Marcus Stroman (5-1, 4.46), projected to be Toronto’s ace when the season started.
The righty hasn’t done well against Boston’s lineup, giving up 12 earned runs in 10.2 innings of work in two starts -- to the tune of 17 hits.
“I though we handled him pretty good a few days ago up in Toronto,” Farrell said of facing Stroman. “Athletic, quality guy who’s going to throw some late action pitches across the plate. Our ability to get him up in the strike zone and hopefully capitalize on some mistakes will be the key in this one.”
Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia should continue to light up the hit column with Stroman on the mound. Bogaerts is 6-for-14 and Pedroia 6-for-13 against him.
Bogaerts had one the best days of his hitting streak against Stroman, lacing a 1-and-1 changeup over the left field wall and finding the hole between short and third for a single off an 0-1 fastball.