The Boston Red Sox, underachieving after winning the World Series, continue a six-game homestand Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against the rebuilding and overachieving Chicago White Sox.
Boston will start left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (8-4, 4.71 ERA) Monday and Chicago will pitch right-hander Lucas Giolito (10-2, 2.74).
The Red Sox have shown signs of revival with eight wins in the past 11 games, but two of those losses came over the weekend against the lowly Toronto Blue Jays, who took the three-game series that opened Boston's homestand. The Red Sox blew a 6-0 lead Saturday to lose 8-7 and then showed little life Sunday in losing 6-1.
They opened the series with a comeback win in 10 innings Monday to add to the enthusiasm created by a 5-1 road trip that included winning two of three against the Minnesota Twins.
"As I was saying in Minnesota, we still have to get better," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Sunday. "I know everybody was excited about that, but as a team, there's a lot of things that we need to keep improving. And when you look at this weekend it showed.
"We stole one on Friday, we had a lead on Saturday and they stole the game, and today we didn't show up. It's disappointing. We expect better things out of the group and I think (Sunday) all around it wasn't a good game."
The Red Sox had two streaks end Sunday. Michael Chavis was 0-for-4, ending his 11-game hitting streak, and Xander Bogaerts was 0-for-4, ending his streak of seven straight games with a double that matched the American League record.
The White Sox, meanwhile, like the way things are going for them.
Despite losing 7-4 to the Texas Rangers on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series, the White Sox have won 13 of their past 23 games. They are 2/3 on a trip that ends in Boston.
"For all of us who have been here for a few years, we are in this moment now where we are realizing all the process is coming together," White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday through translator Billy Russo.
"Now with all the kids playing good we still have plenty of room to improve and that's exciting. We are just scratching the surface of what we are able to do. Now, it's our responsibility, the old guys, to guide these young guys and try to push them and try to get them better every day."
The 32-year-old Abreu has 17 homers and 54 RBI in his sixth season since signing as a free agent from Cuba. He has yet to experience a winning season. The White Sox were 62-100 last season.
Rodriguez earned his team-leading eighth win Wednesday when he allowed eight hits and four runs while striking out nine at Minnesota. He allowed one run in six innings May 4 in a 15-2 win over the White Sox. Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox.
Giolito is scheduled to make his third career start against the Red Sox, the first at Fenway Park. He is 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA career against Boston. He did not factor in the decision May 2 against the Red Sox, allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings.
--Field Level Media
Red Sox start series vs. White Sox after tough weekend