The Red Sox continued their 2014 struggles in close games on Friday, losing another one-run contest to the Oakland A’s to drop the first two games of their four-game set.
Now the Sox need to win the next two games just to split the series and leave Oakland in the same place that they started their 10-game road trip that takes them to the Bay Area, Seattle, and The Bronx.
Rubby De La Rosa will look to give the Sox another fine pitching performance that they’ve grown accustomed to over the past two weeks, with no Sox starter giving up more than three earned runs since June 11.
De La Rosa has made four starts for the Red Sox this season, going 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA. He dominated the Minnesota Twins in his last outing on June 16, shutting them out over seven innings on just one hit with three walks and three strikeouts, as the Sox held on for a 1-0 win.
De La Rosa will be making his first career appearance against the A’s. The only Oakland hitter to have ever faced De La Rosa is Alberto Callaspo, who is 0-for-2 with a walk in three career plate appearances.
Righthander Jesse Chavez is looking to pitch the A’s to their third straight win over the Red Sox. The 30-year-old is 6-4 in 14 starts this season, holding a 2.93 ERA. He allowed one run on five hits over six innings in his last start, an eventual 10-5 Oakland win over the Yankees.
This will be Chavez’s first career start against the Red Sox; he’s pitched three games out of the bullpen against them with an ERA of 1.69 in 5 1/3 innings. He’s been vulnerable at giving up the long ball to hitter in today’s Sox lineup in his career, as A.J. Pierzynski, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, and David Ortiz have all homered off of Chavez.