Minnesota Twins (32-36) at Boston Red Sox (32-38), 1:35 p.m. (ET)
06/18/2014 10:30 AM
06/18/2014 10:33 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - It's not often a team can match a streak from the Babe Ruth era. And it's even more rare when that streak has to do with pitching and not hitting.
Still, the Boston Red Sox can do just that on Wednesday afternoon, when they host the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Boston's 2-1 win on Tuesday was the 11th straight home game in which it's allowed three or fewer runs, which is one shy of the franchise mark of 12 in a row set in 1914 and equaled a season later -- when the mound ace was Babe Ruth.
The Red Sox have won 13 of 22 games overall since a 10-game losing streak last month.
Getting a chance to extend the streak is a responsibility for starting pitcher John Lackey, who had the first assignment in the streak when he tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a May 28 start against Atlanta.
He's won three of four decisions since a May 17 loss to Detroit, compiling a 2.00 earned run average in five starts and defeating Cleveland, 10-3, with 6 2/3 innings of work on Friday.
He's 4-1 in his last six Fenway starts and 4-1 in his last six meetings with the Twins.
Minnesota has managed just seven hits in the first two games of the series.
"We need to knock in some runs," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We need more of them."
Kyle Gibson gets the mound start for the Twins and will try to continue a run of his own that's yielded two straight scoreless starts, comprising 14 innings and no runs allowed in three of his last four appearances.
He was a 2-0 winner over Detroit on Friday after going seven innings.
On the road, however, he's just 2-4 in seven starts with a 5.91 ERA.
On Tuesday, Jon Lester pitched into the seventh inning and the Red Sox did just enough against Phil Hughes.
Lester and Hughes each struck out six and both had long stretches of dominance in the game. Red Sox leadoff hitter Brock Holt was the difference, getting two hits and scoring both Boston runs in a tight duel.
Lester (8-7) gave up four hits, one run and one walk in 6 1/3 innings while Hughes (7-3) -- working more economically -- allowed eight hits and two runs without a walk in eight innings.
After Burke Badenhop and Craig Breslow finished the seventh inning for Lester, Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica struck out five of the last six Twins batters with Mujica earning his second save of the season.
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