The Boston Red Sox (18-21) and Philadelphia Phillies (21-19) will continue a three-game interleague series on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:15 ET on FOX
Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies
Boston dropped to 9-10 on the road this season after suffering a 6-4 road setback to the Philadelphia Phillies to open up interleague play, as the club gave up four first-inning runs and was never able to recover. The Red Sox are a little banged up heading into the rest of the weekend, with David Ortiz dealing with intestinal issues, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Cody Ross both left last night’s game due to injury. The club leads the majors with a 105-58 record in interleague action since 2003. Boston is 11-15 versus right-handers, and the “over” is 15-11 in that situation.
Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (2-3, 3.71 ERA) is coming off a 6-1 complete-game home victory over the Seattle Mariners, allowing one run and eights, while not issuing a single walk and collecting six strikeouts. The left-hander is 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in five road starts, with opposing hitters batting just .215 against him. In three career games versus the Phillies, Lester brings in a perfect 2-0 mark and 0.43 ERA, as he’s not allowed a single home run in 21 frames.
Philadelphia still finds itself in last place in the National League East division, but the club has to be happy about being a season-high two games above .500 for the season. “We’ve got to win this series,” stated Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who closed the door against his former team on Friday night. The Phillies were 9-6 against American League teams last year, marking the second straight winning season for the franchise in interleague play. Philadelphia is 3-7 against left-handed starters this season.
Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton (4-3, 2.96 ERA) has led the club to three wins in four starts, coming off a 5-1 home win over the Houston Astros, giving up one run and six hits over seven innings. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four home outings, issuing just five walks and collecting 25 strikeouts in 28 frames. In 10 career games versus the Red Sox, Blanton has produced an even 3-3 mark and 4.70 ERA, but was handed a 10-2 road loss in his last effort on June 12, 2010. He allowed a season-high nine runs and 13 hits in four innings in that contest.
Bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 8-1 record in Lester’s last nine starts against NL East opponents, while the Phillies are 2-8 in their last 10 interleague home games against southpaws.