UPDATE: A severe storm cell moved over Fenway Park around 6:40 p.m. EDT, and the field was covered as a heavy rain began to fall. According to the Red Sox, tonight’s game is expected to be played — radar shows a period of clear skies behind the storm front — but the scheduled 7:10 p.m. start of the game will be delayed.
BOSTON — You never know about a pitcher coming back from the disabled list, Paul Molitor was saying before Tuesday night’s game. Sometimes they’re rusty, sometimes they have trouble spotting their pitches where they want them. So you have to watch them carefully.
But here’s Molitor’s problem tonight: Hector Santiago always pitches that way.
“He’s tough in that regard. He can scatter it at times, and the next thing you know, you look up and he’s given up one run in five innings,” Molitor said of his left-handed starter, who returns tonight from a shoulder strain after missing three weeks. “He has a tendency to throw some misfires, but he makes a lot of good pitches to overcome that. I’ll be watching a little bit of the command early, and hopefully he’s got the velocity and is using that changeup.”
Santiago, who pitched three shutout innings with two walks for Class AAA Rochester in a rehab start six days ago, is trying to turn his season around. He has lost five straight decisions, and has given up 10 home runs in his last six appearances, posting a 9.93 ERA in that stretch. It’s a real turnaround from his 4-1, 2.76 ERA start to the season, so the Twins are hoping a short break will pay off for him.
Miguel Sano will serve as the designated hitter tonight, with Eduardo Escobar playing third base. The Red Sox will be without manager John Farrell, who was suspended for one game by MLB for a heated argument with umpires over a balk call during Saturday’s game.
Here are the lineups for the second game of this four-game Fenway set: