Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Red Sox look to clean up defense in finale in Cleveland

Field Level Media
08 Jun 2023, 17:19 GMT+10

The errors keep piling up for the Boston Red Sox, who face the host Cleveland Guardians in the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday.

Boston matched its season high with three miscues in a 5-2 loss on Wednesday and leads the American League with 43 errors. The Red Sox committed all three errors in the fourth inning on Wednesday, leading to a pair of Cleveland runs.

"It's frustrating because we're working," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "It's not lack of effort, it's not lack of work. It is who we are right now. At some point, you have to slow the game down ... they're trying; right now it's just not happening for us."

Boston has lost four of its last five games, while Cleveland has won six of its last 10. Guardians designated hitter Josh Bell has driven in a run in six straight games.

Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor committed a costly error in Wednesday's victory, but finished with three hits, including a run-scoring single. Naylor has 34 RBIs in his last 32 games.

"Josh was pretty locked in after that error," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said after the win. "You could tell he wanted to get some payback. He had a pretty eventful night. There wasn't much that went on out there that he wasn't a part of."

Cleveland will send right-hander Aaron Civale (1-1, 2.04 ERA) to the mound in the series finale. He returned from the injured list after missing 48 games with a strained left oblique and tossed five scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins last Friday.

Civale, 27, was pleased with his performance after missing large gaps of time due to various injuries over the past two years.

"(I felt) great," Civale said. "Obviously, any time the game's taken away from you -- unfortunately, I've had a little experience with that the last couple of years -- I'm just glad to be back out there, competing again with all of those guys."

Civale is making his second career start versus Boston. He allowed three runs over four innings in a 4-0 loss to the Red Sox on June 26, 2022.

Boston will turn to left-hander Matt Dermody (season debut) while the team looks to fill the void left by injured starter Chris Sale, who landed on the 15-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation last week.

Dermody, 32, signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox in January and has gone 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in nine games (eight starts) for Triple-A Worcester this season.

He has made 30 career relief appearances in the majors since 2016, including one game with the Chicago Cubs last season.

Left-hander Chris Murphy was a candidate to start the series finale but was ruled out after pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his major league debut on Wednesday.

Boston has gone 1-2 since holding a team meeting prior to Monday's 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox have been held to two runs or fewer in 11 of their last 22 games.

"We keep talking about it, but we've got to get better," Cora said. "I think enough with the talking about it. We've just got to perform."

--Field Level Media

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