BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox own the best record in the American League, but the Detroit Tigers are right behind.
The Tigers will look to put a dent in Boston's lead when it opens up a three-game series at the Red Sox on Monday. Boston is looking for its eighth win in the last nine games while Detroit kicks off its final three-city road trip of the season.
The Tigers are the top-scoring team in the major leagues, having pushed across one more run (699 to 698) than the Red Sox. Detroit was shut out against Cleveland on Sunday and is without superstar Miguel Cabrera, who missed the last two games with an abdominal injury and is day-to-day. The Red Sox just completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox but had a string of 11 straight games allowing three or fewer runs come to an end with Sunday's 7-6 triumph.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Doug Fister (11-7, 3.81 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH John Lackey (8-11, 3.19)
Fister was pounded for seven runs on 13 hits in five innings against the Oakland Athletics last week. The 29-year-old did not surrender a home run or a walk in that outing and only two of the hits went for extra bases. Fister had less success against the Red Sox on June 21, when he was knocked around for six runs on 11 hits - one home run - in 3 1/3 innings.
Lackey is hoping for some more run support after being denied a win for the second straight quality start against Baltimore last week. The Texas native receives an average of 3.42 runs of support - by far the lowest on the Boston staff and the sixth-lowest in the American League. Lackey allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings at Detroit on June 20 but was left out of the decision.
1. Red Sox RF Shane Victorino (hip contusion) left Sunday's game and is day-to-day.
2. Detroit CF Austin Jackson (neck/shoulder) was held out Sunday and is day-to-day.
3. Boston closer Koji Uehara is riding a streak of 21 straight scoreless appearances - tied for the second-longest stretch in franchise history.
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