BOSTON — The Cleveland Indians’ last visit to Fenway Park is one the Boston Red Sox would like to forget.
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio
After locking up its first American League East title since 2013 last fall, Boston was matched up with AL Central champion Cleveland in the AL Division Series.
However, the Red Sox barely resembled a team that had won 93 regular-season games, promptly getting swept by the Indians, losing 4-3 in a decisive Game 3 at Fenway on Oct. 10.
Boston will have its first chance at revenge against Cleveland on Monday night as the Red Sox host the Indians for the first of three games at Fenway.
Cleveland (57-46) was the victim of a walk-off homer from White Sox first baseman Matt Davidson in the ninth inning Sunday in a 3-1 loss at Chicago.
The defeat snapped the Indians’ season-high nine-game winning streak, but Cleveland still owns a two-game lead over the Kansas City Royals atop the AL Central.
“We’ve got to turn the page regardless, whether we win or lose,” Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor said, “because we understand we’ve got a very good team tomorrow. Every game counts. It’s tough to swallow when you lose, but you’ve got to turn the page immediately.”
Kansas City gained a game on the Indians after scoring four runs in the eighth to beat the Red Sox 5-3 on Sunday to take two of three games in the series.
Boston (57-49) lost for the seventh time in 10 games but remained a half-game behind the AL East-leading Yankees after New York’s 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes gave up all four eighth-inning runs (three earned) without retiring a batter, furthering the narrative that Boston could use bullpen help before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday afternoon.
“I think whatever the front office thinks that we need and whatever’s going to make us a better team, I think everybody in here will welcome that,” Barnes said.
It seems the Red Sox have the right man on the mound for the series opener as veteran right-hander Doug Fister has a track record of success against Cleveland.
A former member of Cleveland’s AL Central rival Detroit Tigers, Fister has had plenty of experience against the Indians, going 5-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 16 starts against the Tribe.
However, Fister’s tenure in Boston has been anything but successful. He is 0-5 with a 7.46 ERA in seven games (four starts) this season.
Michael Brantley is a healthy 11-for-30 (.367) with two homers and five RBIs versus Fister, and Yan Gomes (1-for-5) also has a solo home run against him.
Mike Clevinger (5-3, 3.20 ERA) takes the ball for the Indians after giving up six runs (five earned) in a 4 1/3-inning no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels last Tuesday.
Clevinger has never pitched at Fenway Park or against the Red Sox, but Boston’s Eduardo Nunez (1-for-3) and Mitch Moreland (0-for-1) have faced him with previous teams.
Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia missed his second consecutive game on Sunday. He is day-to-day.
“The left knee gets irritated with some volume, extensive volume I should say,” manager John Farrell told the Boston Herald. “And as that flares up, we’ve got to monitor it, expose him to additional treatment and just be cautious of recovery time, and that’s where we are.”