INDIANS (27-27) AT RED SOX (29-26)
6:10 p.m. ET; NESN, ST-OH, MLB.TV
The Boston Red Sox will look to rebound from an ugly loss and salvage momentum heading into a key weekend series as they host the Cleveland Indians in the rubber contest of a three-game series on Wednesday.
The Red Sox seemed poised to set up a chance at a sweep when they entered the ninth inning Tuesday up 5-2, but the Indians scored five times to rally for a 7-5 win.
Right-hander Ryan Weber (1-0, 1.29 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox on Wednesday night in a game that will begin an hour earlier to better accommodate fans who wish to watch the NHL’s Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final. Fellow righty Shane Bieber (3-2, 3.11) gets the nod for Cleveland.
Tuesday’s loss is typically the type that sounds alarms with a team’s bullpen, but the Red Sox appear committed to making things work with their current cast of relievers. Ryan Brasier was tagged for the two home runs that allowed Cleveland to knot the score in the ninth before Travis Lakins hit a batter and walked two more to set up Jordan Luplow’s game-winning two-run double.
“Really no excuse right there, (a) three-run lead should be in and out,” Brasier said. “Made a couple bad pitches, and they made me pay for it.”
Brasier has been part of a revolving door of Boston pitchers to struggle in the closer role this season. In May alone, five different Red Sox have been called upon to get a save, and as a group, the bullpen has converted just 12 of 21 save opportunities this year.
“We feel that we’ve done an outstanding job so far, so nothing is going to change right now,” said manager Alex Cora when asked about reassessing his committee approach.
As for the Indians, the late rally represented a weight off the shoulders of a team that was in danger of losing for the eighth time in its past nine games. The offense, held to three runs or fewer in six straight games entering the series, has now scored 12 between its last two as it looks to finally get on track.
“I was proud of the whole group,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “We had a tough week, but they kept on playing. They kept on having energy.”
Bieber enters Wednesday on a strikeout roll for Cleveland, having punched out 25 between his previous two starts. Against the Tampa Bay Rays last time out, he whiffed 10 and allowed just one run in five innings, though he also threw 111 pitches.
Bieber is 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA in two games (one start) against the Red Sox in his young career.
Weber is more of a veteran, though he continues his transition to the rotation for Boston. In his last outing, he held the Toronto Blue Jays to a run on three hits over six innings for his first win as a starter.
Weber has never faced the Indians in his career.
–Field Level Media