The Boston Red Sox have little time to dwell on getting swept in a doubleheader as they get set to host the Chicago White Sox on Monday morning in their annual Patriots Day game.
The 11:10 a.m. first pitch is the earliest of the MLB season, a ritual that coincides with the running of the Boston Marathon. This year’s race was pushed back to Oct. 11 as a result of COVID-19, but the Red Sox opted to keep the morning contest on their schedule for tradition’s sake.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.08 ERA) takes the mound for a Boston team that has suddenly lost three of its last four games since a nine-game winning streak. Ace righty Lucas Giolito (1-0, 2.55) gets the nod for Chicago.
The White Sox beat the Red Sox twice Sunday after the opener of their four-game series Friday was postponed by rain and snow in the area. Chicago led from start to finish in both contests, taking Game 1 by a 3-2 margin before a more comfortable 5-1 victory in Game 2.
“You turn the page,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said in the wake of the two defeats. “… We’re going to be OK. We’ve got a chance to split the series tomorrow, so that’s the way we see it.”
Boston won the first game of the series 7-4 on Saturday. Monday’s contest will complete a stretch of four games within 43 hours for the two clubs.
“It’s a body check to get back mentally,” noted White Sox skipper Tony La Russa of the early-morning finale.
Chicago gets the benefit of running out its top pitcher coming off his best performance of the season.
Giolito held the Cleveland Indians scoreless over seven innings last time out, surrendering just three hits, walking two and striking out eight. He has whiffed 26 batters in 17 2/3 innings through three starts.
Giolito is without a decision in three career outings against the Red Sox, allowing seven runs in 17 innings (3.71 ERA).
Eovaldi has also been dominant to start the season, as he has yet to allow more than two runs in an outing. The veteran held the Minnesota Twins to two runs on five hits over five innings in a victory April 14.
Eovaldi is 1-1 with a 5.59 ERA in three games (two starts) versus the White Sox.
Boston’s offense will look to get back on track after being held to four hits in Sunday’s nightcap.
“We’re going to run into (pitching) like this,” Cora, said, referring to Chicago’s talented arms. “It happens.”
White Sox relievers combined to pitch six scoreless innings between Sunday’s two contests.
“I’m telling you, we’re going to have a really good bullpen,” La Russa said.
After Monday’s game, Chicago will hit the road for two at Cleveland before kicking off a nine-game homestand Friday.
Boston will welcome the Toronto Blue Jays for a two-game set, followed by the Seattle Mariners for four.
-Field Level Media