The Red Sox are making these winning streaks something of a habit, and they can extend their run to six in a row for the third time this season — all at least partly within the last month — in Cleveland on Saturday.
Rookie righthander Josh Winckowski has bounced back from his rocky debut with two strong outings in wins over the Athletics and the Tigers, and he’ll make his first career start against the Guardians with a chance to lock up Boston’s seventh consecutive series win.
Former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber is on the hill for the hosts, boasting little success against the Sox; the two-time All-Star has a 6.95 ERA in four career appearances against Boston.
RED SOX (40-31): Duran CF, Devers 3B, Martinez DH, Bogaerts SS, Verdugo LF, Story 2B, Dalbec 1B, Bradley RF, Plawecki C
Pitching: RHP Josh Winckowski (2-1, 3.68 ERA)
GUARDIANS (36-30): Kwan RF, Rosario SS, Ramirez 3B, Reyes DH, Gimenez 2B, Miller 1B, Palacios LF, Hedges C, Straw CF
Pitching: RHP Shane Bieber (3-3, 3.00 ERA)
Time: 6:10 p.m.
TV, radio: NESN, WEEI-FM 93.7
Red Sox vs. Bieber: Bogaerts 3-8, Bradley Jr. 1-6, Devers 3-8, Martinez 1-10, Refsnyder 1-2, Vázquez 4-5
Guardians vs. Winckowski: Has not faced any Cleveland batters
Stat of the day: The Red Sox are a season-high nine games above .500 entering the weekend.
Notes: Nick Pivetta picked up his eighth win in his past nine starts on Saturday ... The current five-game win streak has the Sox at 17-4 over their 21 contests in June, the second-best record in the AL and third-best in MLB this month, but they’re still 12 games behind the red-hot Yankees ... Despite dropping back-to-back games, the Guardians have won eight of their past 11 and 17 of the last 23 ... The Sox lead the majors in doubles (168) and lead the AL in batting average (.259), hits (634), and extra-base hits (243) ... They rank second in the AL in runs (339) and 3rd in OPS (.738) and total bases (1,021).
Amin Touri can be reached at email@example.com.