American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 23rd (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (26-19) at Boston Red Sox (28-19), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.65) Boston - Ryan Dempster (2-4, 4.27)
(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians will bring their show to the road Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The AL Central-leading Indians, though, have lost two in a row since a five- game winning streak and were swept in a quick two-game set by the Detroit Tigers. In Wednesday's 11-7 loss to the Tigers, Ubaldo Jimenez was raked for six runs and seven hits in four innings of work to suffer the loss.
"I thought tonight there were some balls (thrown by Jimenez) that got over the middle too much and they squared them up," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana both homered for the Indians, who are just one-half game ahead of Detroit for the AL Central lead.
Thursday's game marks the return of Indians manager Terry Francona to Boston. He managed the Red Sox from 2004-11 and won two World Series with the club.
"I'm sure I'll have a lot of emotions," Francona told the club's website.
Taking the mound for the Tribe Thursday will be Zach McAllister, who is 3-3 with a 2.65 earned run average in eight starts. He was beaten by the Red Sox back on April 18, allowing three runs in five innings of a 6-3 loss, and is 1-2 with a 4.05 ERA in three career starts against them.
Boston salvaged the finale of a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox with Wednesday's 6-2 win.
Clay Buchholz delivered seven innings of one-run ball, while David Ortiz and Daniel Nava both drove in two runs.
"Confidence is a big thing," Buchholz said. "It's fun pitching when you're (going) good."
The Red Sox ended a two-game slide and won for the sixth time in eight tries.
Ryan Dempster gets the nod for Boston tonight and he is 2-4 with a 4.27 ERA in nine starts. Dempster is winless (0-2) in his last three starts, but owns a 3-0 record in five career games (4 starts) against the Indians.
Boston swept a three-game series from the Indians in April and has won eight of the past 11 meetings between the teams.
05/23 10:28:46 ET