Everything is clicking for the Boston Red Sox, who have outscored their opponents 40-14 during their current five-game winning streak
Boston will look to maintain its momentum when it continues a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in Minneapolis
Alex Verdugo drove in four runs and Triston Casas belted a two-run homer in Boston's 9-3 win over Minnesota on Monday. Jarren Duran added three doubles and two RBIs.
Alex Cora, who recorded his 400th victory as the Red Sox's manager on Monday, said the team's recent offensive output has been building for several weeks
"The line was moving before we started scoring runs the last few days," Cora said. "Now we're getting the big hits, so hopefully the fun starts."
While Boston is receiving contributions from throughout the order, Minnesota's offense is becoming a source of concern. Byron Buxton is mired in an 0-for-24 slump for the Twins, who have lost four of their past five
"Baseball is a hot and cold game, and we're kind of lukewarm right now," Twins infielder Kyle Farmer said. "We've just got to keep playing and putting good at-bats together and stick to our routines and keep working.
Minnesota will aim to bounce back against Boston right-hander Kutter Crawford (1-3, 4.20 ERA), who is set to make his sixth start of the season. Crawford returned to the rotation earlier this month after Chris Sale landed on the injured list with a stress reaction in his scapula.
Crawford allowed four runs over four innings in a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies on June 13.
Crawford owns a 5.40 ERA in seven home games (three starts) this season compared to a 2.60 mark in six appearances (two starts) away from Fenway Park. He is 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA in two career games (one start) vs. Minnesota.
Right-hander Bailey Ober (4-3, 2.65 ERA) will get the nod for the Twins. He earned a win on Wednesday after allowing two runs and striking out seven over six innings in a 4-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers
Ober has pitched at least five innings in each of his 10 starts this season, compiling a 54-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.86) over that stretch.
Ober will be facing the Red Sox for the third time in his career after not allowing an earned run in his previous two starts covering 11 innings
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli is looking for an improved effort on Tuesday after his team struck out 11 times and had just one extra-base hit -- Christian Vazquez's three-run homer -- in the series opener.
"One of these days we're going to show up and this is going to flip on us, but not everything is up to chance. It's up to us," Baldelli said. "We have our work cut out for us, and we have to figure it out because we aren't playing well."
The Twins will need a strong game at the plate to keep pace with Boston, which is averaging 7.7 runs per game in its past six games. Verdugo is 17-for-43 (.395) with seven RBIs during his 10-game hitting streak
"Just kind of keep the next guy going and just timely hitting, I think that's the big thing," Verdugo said. "We were getting a lot of hits, but getting the runners in is what we're trying to pride ourselves with."
--Field Level Media