BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox starting rotation has finally put things together this month, but now it’s the offense that is sputtering.
Boston scored a total of six runs in their three-game series against the Texas Rangers, dropping two of three to fall to 19-22 on the season. Now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come to Fenway for a three-game set over the weekend, and the offensive woes will likely continue.READ MORE: Body Of Missing Five-Year-Old Elijah Lewis Believed To Be Found In Abington
The Sox are hitting a crisp .198 against lefties, which is a slight improvement from a few weeks ago. Boston will face a pair of southpaws this weekend to close out the series, which doesn’t bode well for their struggling lineup.
That’s not saying the Angels haven’t had their share of offensive ineptitude this season. They’re hitting just .232 as a team, ranking them 28th in the majors (Boston is 27th at .233), and their 151 runs scored also ranks at the bottom of baseball.
However, Mike Trout is coming to Fenway Park, where he’s gone 17-for-45 (.378) with five doubles and a triple during his career. He might have some fun this weekend, much to the chagrin of Red Sox pitchers and fans.
Here are the pitching matchups for the weekend set at Fenway:
Friday, May 22 — 7:10pm
Garrett Richards (3-2, 2.29 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (4-2, 4.26 ERA)
Porcello has picked up wins in three of his last four starts, and Boston has won each of his last five outings. He’s been much better at home since allowing eight runs in five innings against the Orioles on April 19, holding the Jays and Rays to just one run over 14 innings his last two times out in front of the Fenway faithful.
However, Porcello sports a 4-4 career record with a 6.52 ERA in 11 starts against the Angels.
Richards has been very good this season, holding opposing teams to two or fewer runs in five of his six starts, but hasn’t received much run support from a stagnant Angels offense. In May, Richards has allowed just four earned runs over 21.1 innings pitched, striking out 22 batters in the process.
Key Matchup: Mike Napoli vs. RichardsREAD MORE: Richard Seymour's Full Patriots Hall Of Fame Induction Speech
Napoli has turned it on as of late (he has five of his 23 hits this season over the last week), and brings in solid numbers against Richards. In seven career at-bats against the Angels righty Napoli has four hits, including a double, homer and three RBI.
Saturday, May 23 — 7:10pm
C.J. Wilson (2-2, 3.06) vs. Steven Wright (1-1, 4.02)
The Red Sox have to go through a lefty gauntlet to close the series, and it starts with C.J. Wilson on Saturday night. He’s coming off a rough outing in which he allowed four runs off 10 hits over five innings in a 10-6 Angels loss in Toronto, but has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his eight starts this season. He comes into Fenway with a 6-3 record and 2.63 ERA against Boston in 10 career starts (22 games overall).
Wright will make his second start of the season for the Red Sox. The knuckleballer was tagged with a loss in his first start of the season last Sunday, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings in a 5-0 loss in Seattle.
Key Matchup: Dustin Pedroia vs. Wilson
The Sox second baseman is batting .417 (10-for-24) against Wilson with three doubles, a homer and six RBI. However, he might have a tough time making it around the bases if he gets on, as David Ortiz (.176 in 17 career at-bats) and Napoli (.194 in 31 career at-bats) have both struggled greatly against Wilson.
Sunday, May 24 — 1:35pm
Hector Santiago (3-2, 2.25) vs. Wade Miley (3-4, 5.10)
Santiago is also a lefty, which means the Red Sox probably won’t score more than a few runs — if any. He’s allowed just two earned runs over his last three outings, and is holding hitters to a .213 average this season.
Miley is coming off a pair of strong starts, picking up back-to-back wins for the first time in his Red Sox career. While he’s just 2-2 in May, he owns a 3.04 ERA for the month, dropping his season ERA by three runs since the end of April.
Key Matchup: Pedroia vs. SantiagoMORE NEWS: COVID Outbreak Reported In New Hampshire's Largest Jail
Pedroia is 3-for-7 with three doubles against Santiago. This would be a great weekend for the Sox second baseman to break out of his slump.