The Red Sox have played some of their best baseball of the season over the past three games against the Atlanta Braves, leading to their first three-game win streak of the season, with the Sox one win away from sweeping the home-and-home series with the NL East leaders.
The Sox have gotten impressive pitching performances from Jon Lester and John Lackey over the past two days, and while we could see a couple rookies toe the rubber over the weekend, on Thursday the ball belongs to Jake Peavy.
Itís been a while since Peavy had a very strong outing, as the righthander has allowed 16 totals runs in his last three starts, but has a chance to right the ship against a team he knows from his years with the Padres in the National League. Just 1-2 in 10 starts this year with a 4.65 ERA, Peavy couldnít hold a 5-0 first inning lead the Sox gave him on May 24 in Tampa, allowing the Rays to come back and tie the game, eventually beating the Sox in 15 innings.
Against Atlanta in his career, Peavy has a 3.86 ERA in eight starts, last facing them in 2013 while with the White Sox, allowing two earned runs over six innings in a Chicago win. Current Braves Dan Uggla and Ryan Doumit have seen Peavy the most in their careers, with Uggla going 3-for-14 with a home run and three RBIs and Doumit grabbing three hits in 15 at bats. Justin Upton has hit well against Peavy, with six hits in nine career plate appearances with a home runs and five RBIs.
Starting opposite Peavy is Mike Minor, who is 2-3 in five starts this year with a 3.90 ERA. He gave up three runs on four hits in 6.1 innings against the Colorado Rockies in his last start, while walking three and striking out six.
Only three Red Sox hitters have face Minor in their careers: Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia have faced him three times, while Jonny Gomes has seen him twice. All three have one hit against him, with Gomesí being a double, while Pedroia also has one walk.