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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) http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-adams-jersey , 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.Article continues below ...“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) Wilmer Difo Jersey , 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 Brian Goodwin Jersey ,” 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.’ I throw some numbers at you and you - the community - discuss it."On Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers, Blake Parker was summoned again from the Minnesota Twins bullpen to shut the door and secure a victory and a sweep of a snow-shortened series for our favorite team. After giving up a single, a walk, a strikeout, and another walk, all on 29 pitches, Rocco Baldelli had seen enough and brought in reliever Trevor Hildenberger to put out the fire and send everyone home. Two strikeouts on seven pitches and he did just that. Hildenberger notched his first save of the season while Parker was given a hold for his efforts. Although Baldelli has mentioned that he does not have a go-to closer and does not intend on naming one for the foreseeable future, it seems that he has relied on Parker for most save opportunities. (All these stats are through Sunday, April 14 http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-adams-jersey , and are courtesy of baseball-reference.com, by the way.) I know it’s early in the season (even I don’t want to look at stats too much right now), but the Twins have had five save opportunities so far this season and have converted all five into saves: three by Parker, one by Taylor Rogers, and one by Hildenberger. Another oft-mentioned closer candidate, Trevor May, has not seen any save opportunities this season.Something else to look at is what type of situations the relievers have come into during the game. Coming into Monday’s game, Hildenberger has been brought into the most high-leverage situations - six total - among Twins relievers according to Baseball-Reference, while being brought into one medium-leverage and one low-leverage situation. Parker and Rogers are both behind him with five high-level Brandon Kintzler Jersey , one mid-level, and one low-level situation each. May has been in two high-level, two mid-level, and three low-level situations. One last thing I’ll throw at you before the floor opens for discussion: inherited runners (IR) and inherited runners scored (IS). Hildenberger leads the majors with the most IR at 14, allowing only three IS (in that terrible, terrible inning against the New York Mets). May and Parker have had only one IR and no IS while Rogers has three IR and one IS. The floor (and poll) is now open for discussion!
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