Carlos Carrasco will look to atone for his worst start of the season when he takes the mound for the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday in the second contest of their four-game series against the visiting Boston Red Sox. Carrasco was unable to get out of the second inning despite being staked to a five-run lead versus Boston three weeks ago.
In a matchup between surging first-place teams, the American League Central-leading Indians scored the tying run in the eighth inning before pushing across the winner on a walk-off bunt-and-error to improve to 9-2 in their last 11 games. Monday’s 5-4 win came at a price for Cleveland, which owns a 5 1/2-game division lead, as left-handed reliever Andrew Miller aggravated the patellar tendinitis in his right knee and Carlos Santana left the game with tightness in his lower back. Boston lost for only the fourth time in 18 contests and had its lead in the AL East cut to 4 1/2 games despite receiving two-run homers from Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez. Carrasco will be opposed by Doug Fister, who will be making only his eighth start for the Red Sox but will face the Indians for the third time in 23 days.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Doug Fister (2-6, 5.56 ERA) vs. Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (12-5, 3.76)
Fister had no answers against the Indians in his last start, giving up five runs on seven hits and four walks while lasting only 4 1/3 innings. The sinkerballer won his previous two outings, working 6 1/3 frames of three-run ball versus the Chicago White Sox after limiting Cleveland to two runs over a season-high 7 2/3 innings. Jason Kipnis is 12-for-30 against Fister while Jose Ramirez is 4-for-7.
Carrasco moved within two wins of matching his career high when he held Minnesota to one run and five hits while striking out nine over five innings on Thursday. He was masterful at Tampa Bay in his previous turn, striking out 10 and permitting just two hits in eight scoreless frames. Mitch Moreland is 5-for-11 with three homers against Carrasco, including a three-run shot on Aug. 1.
1. Moreland passed his concussion protocol but was held out of Monday’s game due to a sore neck.
2. Indians RF Jay Bruce has 12 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
3. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) is moving closer to resuming baseball activities.
PREDICTION: Indians 6, Red Sox 3