American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 24th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (5-10) at Minnesota Twins (5-12), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Josh Beckett (1-2, 5.03)
Minnesota - Nick Blackburn (0-1, 5.56)
(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox try to string back-to-back wins together
this evening when they play the middle test of a three-game series against the
Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
The Red Sox snapped a five-game losing streak in Monday's opener, as Cody
Ross' second home run of the game proved to be the difference in a 6-5
Ross hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning and added a go-ahead solo
blast in the ninth while Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run shot in the
Jon Lester went seven innings in the start for Boston and gave up five runs on
six hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Daniel Bard (1-2) got the win
for getting the final two outs of the eighth.
"You need all wins, but this is another good team builder," Red Sox manager
Bobby Valentine said.
Bard had been tabbed to start Sunday's finale against the New York Yankees,
but Valentine said he would skip him in an effort to help a beleaguered
bullpen that has pitched to an 8.06 ERA this season.
Valentine insists the move is only temporary, though.
Danny Valencia hit a two-run home run and Ryan Doumit added a two-run double
for the Twins, who have dropped their past three.
Jason Marquis was tagged for five runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts over 6
1/3 innings. Matt Capps (0-1) suffered the loss for serving up the homer in
Tonight, Boston turns to righty Josh Beckett, who has lost two of his three
starts this season and has pitched to a 5.03 ERA. Beckett absorbed the loss on
Wednesday to Texas, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Beckett is 3-1 in five starts versus Minnesota with a 3.00 ERA.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with righty Nick Blackburn, who is 0-1 with
a 5.56 ERA. Blackburn hasn't pitched since April 14 when he got a no-decision
against Texas, despite giving up only two runs in 5 1/3 frames.
He had his last start skipped because of shoulder stiffness, but threw
successful bullpen sessions on Friday and Sunday.
"I couldn't feel anything at all, so everything seems to be pretty loosened
up," Blackburn said. "It's good."
Blackburn is 2-1 lifetime against the Red Sox with a 3.21 ERA.
Boston was 5-2 last season against the Twins.
04/24 10:45:38 ET