The Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies are ready to close out a three-game interleague series Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park
Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies
Boston has dropped four of its last five games on its current road trip and managed to plate just 10 runs over that span. The Red Sox entered Wednesday’s contest leading the Majors with 75 runs during interleague action. The club is now 6-8 during interleague action and has now dropped just its seventh of 28 series against National League opponents. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez continues to be a major storyline in his first season in Beantown, making his second career start in right field last night, enabling designated hitter David Ortiz to play first base while playing in a NL park. Boston is 28-9 when playing against a team with a winning record.
Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester is 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 16 starts this season and comes in on a two-game losing streak. The left-hander has received just three runs of support in being handed defeats to the Brewers and Pirates, giving up seven runs (five earned) and 15 hits over 14 innings of work. Lester has been solid on the road, entering with a 6-1 record and 3.11 ERA, as opponents are hitting just .213 against him. In two career outings versus the Phillies, he has compiled a 1-0 mark and 0.64 ERA, scattering eight hits over 14 frames.
Philadelphia has compiled an impressive 15-3 record in its last 18 home games and the pitching staff has plenty to do with it. The Phillies pitching staff has posted a 2.06 ERA over that span, allowing the team to outscore opponents by a 80-40 margin. At 17-9 this month, the club has assured itself its first above .500 record in June since 2007. Interleague play has also served as a great opportunity to post impressive numbers for the team’s hurlers, posting an MLB-best 1.64 ERA. Philadelphia has a great shot of completing the sweep by bringing in a remarkable 18-6 daytime record.
Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels is 9-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 16 starts this year and also has been handed back-to-back defeats. The left-hander has received just a run of support over that span, giving up four runs and 15 hits in 14 1/3 innings against the Athletics and Mariners. Hamels has tallied a solid 5-3 mark and 2.73 ERA in nine home starts, issuing just 12 walks and registering 57 strikeouts in 62 2/3 frames. In three lifetime starts versus the Red Sox, he is a perfect 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA, holding them to a .197 average in the process.
Bettors will be interested in backing the Phillies due to their 10-4 record during interleague play as a favorite, while the Red Sox are 1-4 in their last five games versus a southpaw when playing an AL opponent