Steven Wright

Thursday’s Red Sox-Twins matchups: Steven Wright vs. Tommy Milone

June 04, 2015 - 10:19 am
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Following a doubleheader split Wednesday, the Red Sox and Twins wrap up a four-game series at Fenway on Thursday afternoon. The Sox will trot knuckleballer Steven Wright to the mound to face Tommy Milone of the Twins. Wright, 30, comes into Thursday's contest with a 2-2 record and 3.90 ERA. He has three starts under his belt this season since slotting into the rotation in place of the injured Justin Masterson. In those contests Wright is 1-2, but he has been largely efficient. Wright has pitched at least five innings in each start, allowing no more than three earned runs in any of those contests. In 17 combined innings, Wright has earned a very manageable 3.71 ERA. Across his starts, opposing hitters are batting a meager .222 against Wright, who has earned a 1.00 WHIP. The right-hander's last start came in Texas on Friday. Wright got the loss as the Sox fell by a score of 7-4. He threw 82 pitches across 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits. Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton homered twice off of Wright. "Both of the pitches to Hamilton were up where he likes it and moving to the middle of the plate," Wright said following the start. Without much major league experience under his belt, Wright has never faced the Twins. Milone has made three career starts against the Red Sox, twice in 2014 and once in 2012. Through 13 2/3 innings, he has an 11.85 ERA and a 0-2 record, surrendering 18 earned runs on 22 hits. Milone has also struck out 13, walked six and has posted a WHIP of 2.049. Against him, the Red Sox have slashed .338/.394/.738 with two doubles and eight home runs, three of which have come from the bat of David Ortiz. At Fenway Park alone, Milone has a 13.50 ERA through just 8 1/3 innings in two starts, receiving a loss in both. Milone was called up Thursday after Minnesota placed starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list, making the series finale with the Sox his first start in the majors since he was demoted after his April 27 outing. He spent the last month in Triple-A and went 4-0 with a 0.70 ERA through five starts in that time. Before that, Milone had made four starts in April for the Twins. He hurled 22 2/3 innings with a 4.76 ERA and a 2-1 record. The left-hander allowed 12 earned runs on 22 hits, issuing 11 walks. He opened his season strong, but got progressively worse. On April 10, he went 7 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits and holding the White Sox scoreless. His next three starts saw him allow three, four and five earned runs, respectively. His outings also got shorter, diminishing from his quality premier to 5 1/3, 5 2/3 and then just four innings on April 27. Twins vs. Wright (RHP) No Twins have faced Wright. Red Sox vs. Milone (LHP) Mike Napoli (13 plate appearances): .273 AVG/.385 OBP/.545 SLG, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts David Ortiz (9): .429/.556/1.714, 3 home runs, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Dustin Pedroia (9): .375/.444/.500, 1 double, 1 walk Xander Bogaerts (6): .167/.167/.167 Brock Holt (3): .333/.333/.333 Pablo Sandoval (3): .000/.000/.000 Jeff Bianchi has one strikeout in one plate appearance and Carlos Peguero has two strikeouts in three plate appearances vs. Milone. Judy Cohen contributed to this report.

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