The Boston Red Sox own the most prolific offense in baseball but will be put to a stern test Wednesday when they visit the first-place San Francisco Giants with red-hot Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Bumgarner is 6-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his last eight starts and opposes David Price, who makes his first appearance at AT&T Park in a battle of ace left-handers after Boston prevailed in the opener of the two-game series 5-3 in 10 innings Tuesday.
San Francisco catcher Buster Posey revealed he has been dealing with nerve irritation in his right thumb before missing his second straight game Tuesday and manager Bruce Bochy said his All-Star catcher might not play Wednesday. The Giants have lost three straight after seeing their five-game home winning streak halted, but still enjoy a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. Boston, which trails Baltimore by one-half game in the American League East, averages 5.9 runs per game. David Ortiz drove in a run as a pinch hitter Tuesday and manager John Ferrell is expected to keep his 40-year-old slugger in that role Wednesday as he seizes an opportunity to rest Ortiz without the benefit of a designated hitter in the NL park.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)
Red Sox – DH D. Ortiz (Doubtful Wednesday, rest), C B. Swihart (15-Day DL, ankle), LF B. Holt (15-Day DL, concussion).
Giants – C B. Posey (Doubtful Wednesday, thumb), RF H. Pence (15-Day DL, hamstring), RP S. Romo (15-Day DL, elbow), LF A. Pagan (15-Day DL, hamstring).
WEATHER REPORT: It’s going to be a typical San Francisco night for baseball tonight for the game between the Giants and Red Sox. Partly cloudy, cool temperatures (60’s), high humidity (85 percent), and a 25 mph wind blowing straight out toward McCovey Cove in right field.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH David Price (7-2, 4.88 ERA) vs. Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (7-2, 1.91)
Price is also on a bit of roll as he is 3-1 in his last five turns — all quality starts — while lowering his ERA 1.87 during that span. The 30-year-old Tennessee native suffered his first loss in nearly a month with a 5-2 setback to Toronto on Friday when he allowed three runs (two earned) and a season-high four walks in seven innings. Price is 0-1 with a 3.06 ERA in two starts versus San Francisco, including a 5-4 loss facing Bumgarner and the Giants while with Detroit on Sept. 6, 2014.
Bumgarner, who has 13 career home runs including two this season and five in 2015, expressed his desire to participate in the Home Run Derby prior to the All-Star Game, but manager Bruce Bochy told Bumgarner he’ll be sticking exclusively with his day job. The 26-year-old North Carolina native is doing that well as he matched a season high with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings of a 6-0 victory in Atlanta on Thursday. Bumgarner is 7-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 17 interleague starts, including a loss in his only outing against Boston during his rookie season of 2010, and has fared well against Hanley Ramirez (5-for-28, six strikeouts).
* Red Sox are 9-2 in their last 11 interleague games.
* Giants are 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter.
* Giants are 9-2 in Bumgarners last 11 home starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 7-0 in Red Sox last 7 vs. National League West.
* Red Sox are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in San Francisco.
* Over is 4-0 in Timmons’ last 4 games behind home plate.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 71 percent of the Covers public are backing Bumgarner and the Giants in tonight’s battle with Price and the Red Sox. Over 6.5 is picking up 57 percent of the totals wagers with the public not trusting the low 6.5 number with the wind blowing out. View full consensus data here.