06/13/10 11:49 AM ET
D-backs head east to visit rising Red Sox
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
And Justin Upton, whose struggles have been one of the weights keeping the D-backs down, hopes doing some damage to Fenway Park is just family business. Brother B.J., of the Tampa Bay Rays, destroyed Boston during the 2008 ALCS, going 6-for-12 with two homers and eight RBIs in the middle three games in Beantown.The younger Upton can definitely use a boost, as he sat out Sunday's finale of the Chase Field series against St. Louis in a 6-for-31 slump that has lowered his average to .242. Equally unsettling, he leads the Majors with his 87 strikeouts. Having something to say about the D-backs' get-well hopes will be the Red Sox, whose footsteps are being heard by the teams now sharing the top spot in the AL East standings, the Rays and the Yankees. The Red Sox have just proven that Boston is not a good place to visit for NL teams trying to climb out of a sick bed. Before running into Cole Hamels on Sunday, the Red Sox outscored the Phillies 22-4 in back-to-back wins. In its first six Interleague games, all against Philadelphia, Boston owns a 39-to-17 scoring advantage. Since the Red Sox no longer have anyone named "Nixon" on their roster, Kennedy's chief opposition will come from Clay Buchholz, who continues to lead the Boston staff with eight wins and has allowed a total of seven earned runs in his past six starts to steadily lower his ERA to 2.52. D-backs: Kennedy makes Boston debut
Kennedy got into 14 games and made 12 starts for the Yankees in 2007-09, but not one of those appearances was against the Red Sox. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a game since April 29.
Red Sox: Home cooking
Remember that awful start at home, Boston's worst in 78 years? The Red Sox don't -- since losing six of their first seven home games, they have gone 19-9 at Fenway Park. ... Although done in by one bad inning, Tim Wakefield's 7 1/3-inning outing on Sunday upped his career workload to 3,004 2/3 innings, as he joined the Phillies' Jamie Moyer (3,982) and the Yankees' Andy Pettitte (3,006 2/3) as the only active pitchers with 3,000-plus innings pitched.
Pinch-hitting is supposedly the province of NL teams, with pitchers still having a place in their lineups, so it is somewhat surprising to note that the Red Sox (12) have more pinch-hits this season than the Phillies (10).
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.