Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians Series Preview

Starting Monday, the surging Boston Red Sox will be visiting Progressive Field for a three-game set with the Cleveland Indians.

After facing extreme media criticism during a ten-game losing skid, the Boston Red Sox have rattled off seven wins in a row to get back into the conversation in the A.L. East race.

The Indians snapped a four game skid of their own this weekend, sweeping the visiting Colorado Rockies to keep themselves in striking distance of the division-leading Detroit Tigers.


Home: Cleveland Indians

Record: (27-30, 18-11 home, 4th A.L. Central)

Away: Boston Red Sox

Record: (27-29, 12-12 road, 4th A.L. East)

Season Series: no games played

Key stat:

Despite posting the worst attendance numbers in the Major Leagues (14,931 per game), the Indians boast the best home record in the American League at 18-11.

Indians outlook:

Michael Bourn doesn't know how to relax on the baseball field, even after hitting a three-run walk-off blast to finish off a sweep of the Rockies on Sunday.

“They said I was flying around the bases,” Bourn said with a huge grin, per Stephanie Storm of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I was just happy because we were able to complete the sweep and build momentum. We’ve got the Red Sox coming in nextand they’re the defending champions…so to win on a walkoff and complete the sweep, my adrenaline was going. It was a good moment."

In a season where good moments have seemingly been tough to come by, Sunday's 6-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies could be just the spark the Indians need to make their ascent up the standings.

Red Sox outlook:

What a difference a week makes.

From May 15th to May 25th, the Boston Red Sox were outscored 52-26 as a ten-game slide sent them tumbling toward the bottom of the American League standings.

Since then, the Red Sox have outscored their opponents 36-15, completely manhandling the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays and reestablishing the 2013 World Series champions as a legitimate threat.

All it took was one week, seven games, and one tense visit from the team's general manager to turn the team's season right back around.

What to watch for:

2014 hasn't been kind to Cleveland ace Justin Masterson (2-4, 5.21). Masterson posted a 5.63 ERA in May, which was just a tick better than his 6.04 mark in June.

With the steady John Lackey (6-3, 3.27) opposing him in Monday's series opener, Justin Masterson will look to start June out on the right foot - putting two months of frustration behind him.

What they are saying about the Indians:

Bourn's first career walk-off helps Indians sweep the Rockies (Akron Beacon Journal)

Johnny Manziel's coming to Progressive Field (Yardbarker)

What they are saying about the Red Sox:

The Red Sox need to keep Brock Holt in the lineup (BoSox Injection)

Pedroia's return cut short by ejection (ESPN)

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