Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Back at Fenway, Masterson eyes encore performance

The Red Sox dominated in their 2015 return to Fenway Park. On Tuesday evening, the club will look to pair that game with another strong performance in the second of three games against the Nationals.
Justin Masterson will take the hill for his first home start in a Boston uniform since 2009, while the Nationals counter with reigning National League strikeout champion Stephen Strasburg.
Things to know about this game:
• Masterson continues his Red Sox return after throwing a solid six innings in his first start, allowing two earned runs and tossing seven strikeouts to two walks on Thursday vs. the Phillies. After struggling with a loss of fastball command for much of 2014, the veteran displayed strong location, throwing 64 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
• The Nationals will attempt to rebound from a dismal display in the field in the series opener, which featured misplayed outfield pop-ups and a handful of other mistakes on defense. Washington was an average defensive club last season, ranking 15th in errors made and fielding percentage, but the team has missed the presence of injured outfielder Denard Span so far this year.
• Only three current members of the Red Sox have seen more than four career at-bats against Strasburg: Allen Craig, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Of those players, only Ramirez, who has five hits and a 1.046 OPS in 16 at-bats, has been able to inflict any real damage against the hard-throwing righty.

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