The Red Sox wrap up their eight-game homestand on Wednesday night. A win will get them back to .500 for the first time since April 4. This is their ninth chance since then to do so.
The Sox are 9-11 at home, but have won seven of their last 13 at Fenway after starting 2-5. The team’s 89 runs scored at home are the most in the American League, and third overall.
• The Sox have outscored opponents 48-36 in their last 10 games, going 6-4.
• The Sox have stolen 11 bases this season, getting caught nine times. Yes, Jacoby Ellsbury took a lot of steals with him to New York. But perhaps there are other factors at play, also.
“I think a year ago when we were at full strength we posed a threat even before the game was played in terms of this is a team that is willing to run at any opportunity,” said manager John Farrell. “It was a high success rate so maybe it put opposition – wouldn’t say on edge – but they knew it was an aspect of the game they had to contend with. As [Shane Victorino] was slow coming out and Jacoby not here, maybe there wasn’t the personnel to take advantage of things as clearly or as readily.
“There were a couple of times we forced the issue and it didn’t pay off. We’re striving for a number of stolen bases, but a good success rate. That’s our guide.”
Dustin Pedroia has two steals and leads the team with three times caught, including once on Tuesday. Jackie Bradley leads the Sox with three steals without getting caught.
“I thought last night [Reds catcher Tucker] Barnhart did a heck of a job on the transfer,” Farrell said. “When you have a pitcher who’s loading time is north of 1.4 seconds our base stealers should have a high success rate. He gets rid of that ball quick and Pedey had a little bit of a delay in his jump and it results in an out. We’ve got to continue to be smart about it. We can’t make a base-stealer out of someone who isn’t. He’s had success in the past but just because he hits out of the leadoff spot, basestealing depends the on ability of the guy, not where he hits in the lineup.”
Opponents have stolen 20 bases against the Sox, getting caught six times.
• Right-hander Jake Peavy (1-1, 2.87) is making his seventh start of the season. He has allowed one home run in each of his six starts.
In 10 career starts, Peavy is 6-0 with a 2.14 ERA against the Reds. It is his best ERA among teams he’s faced at least three times, and the second-best ERA against the Reds among active pitchers (minimum 50 innings pitched) behind Cole Hamels’ 1.70. He also has the second-best WHIP, at 1.04, to Hamels among all active pitchers with at least 10 starts.
• Double-A Portland second baseman Mookie Betts was named Eastern League player of the month for April. The Sox’ minor league offensive player of the year for 2013, Betts had the best batting average in all of minor league baseball, at .430, going 40-for-93.