Red Sox attempt series win against Brewers

The Sports Xchange

September 02, 2018 at 1:03 am.

The Boston Red Sox will go for a series victory when they close out a four-game set against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Boston (94-43) leads the majors in wins and has posted a 38-14 record since July 2. The Red Sox need a victory on Sunday to match their high-water mark for the season at 52 games above .500.

The trajectory is not as kind in Chicago (54-82), which guaranteed its sixth sub-.500 season in a row after Saturday’s defeat. The White Sox are building toward the future but have shown promise lately by winning 12 of 18.

“I think we’re all pulling in the same direction, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of right now,” rookie right-hander Michael Kopech told reporters after his most recent outing. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve been a winning team, and hopefully it stays that way for a long time.”

Boston rallied to win Thursday’s series opener 9-4, fell short 6-1 on Friday night in a game delayed by rain, and returned the favor with a 6-1 victory on Saturday evening.

The Red Sox improved to 46-25 away from Fenway Park. The White Sox claim a home record of 26-42.

Boston left-hander Brian Johnson (4-3, 4.02 ERA) will try to maintain the positive momentum in his 12th start of the season and the 18th start of his career. The 27-year-old former Florida pitcher will try to win his fourth decision in a row after going 3-0 with a 4.36 ERA in seven games (six starts) since July 26.

Johnson has not faced the White Sox in his career.

Chicago will counter with veteran right-hander James Shields (5-15, 4.54 ERA), who will make his 29th start. Shields has pitched at least six innings in nine of his past 12 outings and has been better than his record suggests.

In 28 career starts against the Red Sox, Shields is 9-14 with a 4.40 ERA. He has walked 56 and struck out 151 during 173 2/3 innings. He frequently faced the club while he was a member of the division rival Tampa Bay Rays.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Shields and other starters had done their job well even if they did not necessarily have the victories to show for it this season.

“We’re trying to get through the back end of ballgames to complete what those guys on the front end have done,” Renteria said recently to reporters. “Right now, we’re going to try to find out a lot, so we’ll see how it goes. But it doesn’t ever take away, regardless of the outcome at the end, it never takes away from what those guys have done at the beginning of the ballgame.”

The Red Sox and the White Sox split their first six meetings of the season.

As other teams scrambled to add veterans this week for a possible playoff push, Boston stayed the course.

“There wasn’t one player that we had interest in that we would have liked to pursue that ever got back to us (in the waiver order), which we understood kind of thinking going into August,” Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowksi said to MassLive.com. “Some guys got through waivers. But we didn’t significantly pursue any of those players.’