Red Sox aim to break the brooms out on White Sox
It hasn't been easy, but the Boston Red Sox are back at .500. Tonight they try to go over the break-even mark for the first time this season and complete their second straight sweep in the finale of their four- game set with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
After manager Bobby Valentine said the Red Sox had hit rock bottom following a 15-9 loss to the New York Yankees last Saturday that saw his team blow a nine- run lead, Boston has rebounded to win six straight games.
On Saturday, Jon Lester outdueled Jake Peavy and the Red Sox eked out a 1-0 win.
Lester (1-2) tossed seven shutout innings, fanning seven while allowing five hits and one walk. The victory snapped an eight-start winless streak, the longest drought of his career.
"He was down all night long," Valentine said about Lester. "The only pitches he threw up in the zone were deliberate. He was pitching well and when he missed, he missed just a little. That's a good sign."
Adrian Gonzalez drove in the lone run of the contest with a single in the fourth inning for the Red Sox, who haven't swept the White Sox since taking a four-game set back in 2007.
Peavy (3-1) was the hard-luck loser after giving up a run on four hits and one walk. He struck out seven in his second consecutive complete game.
"I'm pleased with the way I performed, but at the same time losing is losing," said Peavy. "I don't care how you get beat, you never want to lose."
The Red Sox will hand the ball to Josh Beckett today, as he tries to string back-to-back wins together. Beckett beat the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, holding them to a pair of runs and five hits in six innings to run his record to 2-2, while lowering his ERA to 4.56.
Beckett has faced the White Sox eight times and is 4-2 against them with a 3.70 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with righty Gavin Floyd, who has lost three of his four starts this season. Floyd dropped his second straight start on Tuesday, but pitched well, as he allowed just a run and two hits in 7 1/3 frames in the 2-0 setback. He also struck out six and saw his ERA dip to 3.60.
Floyd has had a great deal of success against the Red Sox in his career, posting a perfect 6-0 mark with a 3.47 ERA in eight games (seven starts).
Chicago took four of six from the Red Sox last season.