Third baseman Rafael Devers looks to follow up a historic performance when his Boston Red Sox go after a series victory in the rubber match of a three-game set Wednesday afternoon against the host Cleveland Indians. Devers became the first Red Sox player since Nomar Garciaparra in 2003 to record six hits in a game (four doubles) as Boston coughed up a five-run lead before earning a 7-6 victory in 10 innings Tuesday to even the series.
Devers is 11-for-20 over his last four contests, raising his batting average to .328, and teammate J.D. Martinez had a pair of hits in Tuesday's win to extend his hitting streak to 12 games (21-for-47) with five homers and nine RBIs for the Red Sox - 4-12 in their last 16 games. Left-hander Brian Johnson will get the start for Boston on Wednesday and Nathan Eovaldi, who was originally slated to open the game, could be available after throwing six pitches Tuesday while Indians ace Shane Bieber looks to continue his strong stretch on the mound. Carlos Santana homered for the third straight game Tuesday and improved to 9-for-20 with eight runs scored in his last five contests for Cleveland, which fell one-half game behind Minnesota in the American League Central. Franmil Reyes has homered in the first two games of the series for the Indians after going 4-for-36 without going deep in his first 11 contests with the club.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network; NESN (Boston), STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Brian Johnson (1-1, 7.32 ERA) vs. Indians RH Shane Bieber (12-4, 3.28)
Johnson makes his fifth start of the season after giving up three runs on two hits over 2 2/3 innings in the role Friday against the Los Angeles Angels before Boston went on to win 16-4. The 28-year-old University of Florida product is 0-0 with a 4.61 ERA in his first four starts this season, allowing 19 hits across 13 2/3 innings. Jose Ramirez is 1-for-2 with a double and two walks versus Johnson, who gave up three runs in 7 1/3 innings over two games (one start) against the Indians last year.
Bieber has lost once in his last nine trips to the mound and gave up two runs over seven innings in that outing to lose 2-0 versus Houston on July 30. The 24-year-old California native has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of his last 13 starts and boasts 193 strikeouts as opposed to 32 walks across 156 1/3 innings overall. Andrew Benintendi is 4-for-6 with a homer against Bieber, who is 2-1 with an 8.44 ERA in three career games versus Boston.
1. Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor had three hits and three RBIs on Tuesday, improving to .306 in 49 at-bats this month after batting .330 in July.
2. Boston CF Jackie Bradley Jr. broke the tie with a solo homer in the 10th inning Tuesday for his second blast in two days.
3. Indians OF Yasiel Puig will sit out the third of a three-game suspension for his involvement in a fight while with Cincinnati on July 29.