Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox
When and Where: Tuesday, Aug. 6, Fenway Park, Boston, Mass., 7:10 p.m. EDT.
Still trying to find a groove in his new surroundings, Andrew Cashner looks to shake out of his funk Tuesday night when the struggling Boston Red Sox continue their series against the Kansas City Royals.
Junis hopes change of scenery results in return to winning ways
Jakob Junis (6-10, 5.03 ERA) is looking to avoid losing a third consecutive start, with the hopes that pitching on the road will serve as a positive. The right-hander’s earned run average is 1.40 runs lower on the road, where he is 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA in 10 starts, than compared to at Kauffman Stadium.
HIGHLIGHT: Junis escapes early trouble
Jakob Junis retires Randal Grichuk on a shallow fly ball to strand two runners in scoring position in the 1st inning
— Blue Jays PBP (@BlueJaysPBP) July 31, 2019
Junis’ struggles with the long ball continued in Wednesday’s 4-1 home loss to Toronto as he served up a pair of solo homers and yielded four runs overall in seven-plus innings. A lack of run support also cropped as the Royals backed him with two or fewer runs for the sixth time in seven starts, and Junis is 2-4 with a 4.74 ERA in that stretch.
“Yeah, it was very, very frustrating,” Junis told the Royals’ official website about his outing. “I was cruising, getting ahead and keeping the pitch count down. I just gave up a couple of homers late.”
The righty has been tagged for 24 home runs, tied for seventh-most in the American League, including 14 on the road in just 57 1-3 innings. Those 14 homers have accounted for 17 of the 29 runs he has allowed on the road.
The third-year pitcher did not give up a gopher ball in June facing the Red Sox at home, but they roughed him up plenty in racking up six runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings of an 8-0 romp. Junis did not get a decision in his other career start last season versus Boston, allowing two runs in six innings at Fenway in a 7-6, 13-inning Royals victory.
Cashner hopes stepping out of division ends slump
When the Red Sox acquired Cashner (10-6, 4.44) from the Baltimore Orioles on July 13, it looked like they were getting the right-hander at an opportune time as he had won his previous three starts. Boston, though, has not seen much of that form from Cashner, who is 1-3 with a 6.94 ERA in four starts since the deal.
— WEEI (@WEEI) August 2, 2019
Cashner was reached for a season-worst seven runs along with seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 9-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. He also matched a season-high with five walks and has issued 11 in 23 1-3 innings with Boston — well above his rate of 2.62 per nine innings pitching for Baltimore.
The righty did not face the Royals this season before being dealt, and while he has pitched well against Kansas City in his career, it has yet to translate into victories. Cashner is 0-3 with a 3.29 ERA in five matchups, going 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts last year after yielding seven runs and 15 hits — three of them home runs — in 11 1-3 innings.
One positive for Cashner is he has been superb against AL Central teams this year, entering this matchup 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts.
The Royals are:
- 8-20 in Junis’ last 28 starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- 6-18 in their last 24 during game 2 of a series.
- 0-5 in their last five games vs. starters with a plus-1.30 WHIP.
The Red Sox are:
- 16-5 in their last 21 games vs. AL Central teams.
- 7-0 in their last seven games vs. the Royals.
- 88-38 in their last 126 games vs. starters with a plus-1.30 WHIP.