If Sunday’s offensive explosions are any indication, the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves should be swinging for the fences on Monday night at Fenway Park.
Both teams put up crooked numbers over the weekend against the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively, gearing up for another anticipated slugfest.
The Braves used a 10-run second inning in their 12-10 win over the Phillies. Austin Riley homered and had three RBIs while Nick Markakis and Marcell Ozuna each had three hits and two RBIs.
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker breathed a sigh of relief after his team held on to the lead in Philadelphia.
“You’re never safe in this ballpark,” Snitker said afterward. “You don’t feel comfortable ever with any lead.”
Winners of six of their last 10 games, the Red Sox are fresh off a 9-5 victory over the Nationals on Sunday at Fenway Park. The Red Sox feasted off Washington pitching with 15 hits, including four home runs.
Third baseman Rafael Devers led the hit parade going 4-for-4 with two homers and three RBI. He’s been on fire at Fenway as of late, going a combined 11-for-21 in his last five games, including three doubles, three homers and eight RBI.
“I’m hoping this gets him going,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke told reporters. “(Rafael brought) an energy and was smiling. He just seemed to be really happy today, not just on those hits, but from the beginning of the game. Hopefully, we continue this, and we can get him in a stretch where he’s really raking.”
All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts fanned the flames by going 6-for-11 in the three-game series with two homers and five RBI.
Rookie first baseman Bobby Dalbec also had two hits, including a two-run home run in his major league debut.
“That’s pretty fun to see,” Roenicke said. “First game in the big leagues and hitting a homer, pretty cool. I thought it was a great day for him.”
Boston may need the added bat, after losing J.D. Martinez late in the contest. The Red Sox slugger is listed as day-to-day for Monday, after getting hit by a pitch from Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson.
“They took X-rays on it and he’s fine,” Roenicke said. “It will just be day-to-day to see how much pain he has. It got him right on the bone in the back of the hand. I’m sure that spots going to be pretty sore.”
Red Sox right-hander Colten Brewer will be on the mound for Boston on Monday. The 6-foot-4, 222-pound hurler is 0-2 with a 4.57 ERA, walking 12 and fanning 21 in 21 2/3 innings this season. Monday will mark his first career appearance against Atlanta.
Although the starting pitching has battled injuries and inconsistency, the Boston bullpen has held up well and hasn’t allowed a run over its last 12 innings.
Atlanta will counter with National League ERA leader Max Fried.
The left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA that is tied for the best in baseball and is holding opponents to a .190 batting average. He also has a 0.95 WHIP.
Fried has allowed just 26 hits in 40 innings over seven starts. He beat the New York Yankees in his last turn when he gave up one run and four hits over six innings on Wednesday.
The Braves have been swinging the bat well. They chased Phillies starter Jake Arrieta after 1 1/3 innings on Sunday night. Riley homered and doubled in the big 10-run inning.
Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was removed from Sunday’s action as a precaution after experiencing some hamstring issues in the second inning.
“If you push that, something bad is going to happen,” Snitker said of Acuna. “We’ll just see how he is tomorrow.”
Ozuna has five homers and 15 RBIs over his past 15 games. Shortstop Dansby Swanson, who homered Sunday, is 22-for-61 (.361) with three homers and 15 runs scored over his last 15 contests.
–Field Level Media