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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, April 16th (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (8-4) at Cleveland Indians (5-6), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Felix Doubront (0-0, 5.40) Cleveland - Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1, 6.97)
(Sports Network) - Cleveland manager Terry Francona faces his former team for the first time on Tuesday when the Indians welcome the Boston Red Sox to Progressive Field for the start of a three-game series.
However, the Red Sox' minds may be elsewhere as the city of Boston continues to deal with the fallout from the explosions that rocked the finish line of Monday's marathon.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tweeted on Tuesday morning, "I can't wait to put on my jersey today ... I get to play for the strongest city out there," with the hashtag, #BostonStrong.
Francona, meanwhile, helped end the club's 86-year World Series drought when he skippered the Red Sox to the 2004 title. He added another Fall Classic triumph in 2007. His Red Sox teams won no fewer than 86 games in any of his eight seasons at the helm and his 744 wins with the franchise are the second most for any Boston manager.
"It'll be different because we were so close," said Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "It'll be good to see him. We're all so happy for him - after him having a year off and getting back into it. They (the Indians) seem like they have a good group of guys, a good team over there. It'll be fun competing against them."
Boston enters this series on the heels of sweeping the Tampa Bay Rays, including a 3-2 win in Monday's Patriots' Day finale, just hours before the chaos ensued.
Tampa had tied the game in the ninth, but Mike Napoli's double off the Green Monster scored Pedroia to send the Fenway crowd home happy.
"Well the key was, after they scored the run and despite the blown save, Bailey does a great job cutting it off right there to keep it tied," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Getting the call for the Red Sox on Tuesday will be lefty Felix Doubront, who hasn't pitched since getting a no-decision in Toronto on April 5. Doubront allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings of that one. He is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in two starts versus the Indians.
Francona's new club picked up a series win over the weekend, but was denied a sweep on Sunday when they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Chicago White Sox.
Brett Myers (0-2) allowed six hits and kept the White Sox off the board for five innings, but couldn't keep Paul Konerko in the park in the sixth. He has surrendered eight home runs in 16 1/3 innings this season.
"He threw the ball really well," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona. "That's the guy that you are looking for."
Michael Bourn went 3-for-4 and hit a leadoff homer in the first, but left the game in the eighth after suffering a right-hand injury while sliding head- first into first base. He needed five stitches and could be out a week.
Heading to the hill for the Indians will be righty Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 0-1 with a 6.97 ERA. After a solid outing in his season debut, Jimenez was hit hard by the New York Yankees last Monday, as he allowed seven runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 frames.
He is 1-1 in three starts against the Red Sox with a 9.00 ERA.
Boston was 5-3 against the Indians last season.
04/16 10:39:48 ET
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