The Cincinnati Reds are coming off a big time series win over the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend, taking three of four. to keep But, not all is well, now they have to play without their slugging right fielder.
After losing Jay Bruce to injury, the Reds open a two-game road set against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
While Bruce was scratched from Sunday’s lineup with what was believed to be a sore left knee, further tests revealed a partially torn meniscus. The two-time All-Star, hitting .216 with three homers, had surgery Monday and is expected to miss up to a month.
With Bruce out, Chris Heisey could see more playing time. He drew a two-out walk and scored from first on Todd Frazier’s double as the Reds beat the Brewers 4-3 in 10 innings Sunday.
“I’m not known for my eagle eye at the plate. The key is not to get caught up in the moment and swing at bad pitches,” Heisey said. “Any time the ball is down the line or in the gap, I’m thinking of scoring.”
The Reds have won four of six after getting swept at Atlanta, in their recent road trip.
“We need to send a message that we’re in this thing and we have to prove it to ourselves,” manager Bryan Price said. “Being around .500 isn’t what we’re all about.”
Cincinnati now turns its attention to Boston as these teams meet for just the third time since 1975, when the Reds beat the Red Sox in the World Series. Boston swept the Reds at home in 2005 before winning two of three in Cincinnati in 2008.
“They are the defending world champions, which is a big enough problem to overcome by itself,” Price said. “They are off to the same kind of start we’ve gotten off to. … I love that stadium, the vibe there.”
The Red Sox took two of three from the Oakland Athletics this weekend, but lost in extras 3-2 yesterday afternoon.
Boston will face Homer Bailey, who is coming along recently, posting a 2-1 a record with a 3.60 ERA in his last three outings. The right-hander allowed three runs and eight hits over a season-high eight innings to beat Milwaukee 8-3 on Thursday.
“They’ve picked me up all year so far. I’m just glad I was able to do something for them,” said Bailey, who leads the NL with an average of 8.91 runs of support.
While Bailey is starting to find his form, he is 2-6 with a 6.26 ERA in 10 interleague outings. His only appearance against the Red Sox came as a rookie in 2008, when he yielded five runs over 2 1-3 innings in a 9-0 loss.
Boston counters with Felix Doubront, who is winless over a five-start stretch. He lost his last time out allowing four runs over six innings in the second game of a doubleheader against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Doubront has done well in interleague play. The left-hander has a 2.25 ERA, during a four-start winning streak against the NL.
First pitch from Fenway is at 7:10pm, TV: FSN OHIO, RADIO: 700 WLW.