Minnesota Twins (50-38) @ Boston Red Sox (52-39)
GAME NOTES: The Red Sox return to Fenway after a rough road trip during which they were swept by the Rays and coughed up two golden opportunities to win a statement series in the Bronx. The good news is, they’re 31-10 at home this season; the bad news is, the surprisingly red-hot Twins have won five straight games and eight of their last ten. Unlike the Red Sox of late, the Twins are baseball’s best hitting team with runners in scoring position, and they send their ace Scott Baker to the hill. Baker has not allowed more than three runs in an outing since late-April, and is typically around the strike zone, having walked only a dozen batters this year.
Fortunately, Dice-K has the stuff to beat the Twins — he’s 2-0 in two career starts against them — but Matsuzaka will have to be economical tonight, something he has not been in a long time, with key components of the Red Sox bullpen neither rested nor trustworthy. However the Sox get it, a win tonight would go a long way toward setting a positive tone for this crucial pre-ASB homestand, which begins with Boston trailing Tampa Bay by five games. That in mind, two words: JUST WIN.