The Red Sox are only 1.5 games out of first place in the AL East, and have won six of their last eight games entering their Tuesday matchup with the Minnesota Twins.
The Red Sox’ win on Sunday in Texas pushed them over the .500 mark for the first time since April 3, and they are looking to climb higher, as it seems they’re on their way to righting the ship after a tough April.
With Felix Doubront originally slated to start tonight’s game, the Red Sox instead switched Jake Peavy into starting tonight, with Doubront going tomorrow, as the Sox got off days before and after their three-game set in Texas, while also looking ahead to their 2013 ALCS rematch with the Tigers this weekend.
Peavy was impressive in his last start, going six innings against the Cincinnati Res on May 7, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches in that outing, 59 of them for strikes.
Peavy has familiarity with the Twins from his time in the AL Central with the White Sox. Of the current Twins roster, three of the four players who have faced him more than a dozen times have batting averages over .300. Joe Mauer has hit .313 with four walks in 38 plate appearances, while Brian Dozier and Chris Parmlee have hit .313 and .357 in 16 and 14 times facing Peavy, respectively. Trevor Plouffe, who has 23 career plate appearances against Peavy, has hit .261 against the Boston righthander.
The Twins will counter Peavy with Ricky Nolasco, who is 2-3 with a 5.64 ERA in seven starts this season, his first in the American League after spending eight seasons in the NL with the Marlins and Dodgers.
The only hitter on the Red Sox with more than 10 plate appearances against Nolasco is Shane Victorino, who faced him 43 times when he was with the Phillies and Nolasco was in Miami, hitting just .150 against Nolasco with two doubles and an RBI. David Ortiz and Jonathan Herrera are the only others in double digit plate appearances against Nolasco, each facing him 10 times, with Herrera hitting .429 with two walks and Ortiz hitting .143 with a home run and three walks.