What we're watching: Can Tigers add to Boston's misery?

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– Finally back home, if only briefly, after losing six in a row at Tampa Bay and New York, the Red Sox will face the Tigers to start a four-game series tonight. The opener, though, looks like the toughest matchup of the series for Boston, as Edwin Jackson and the struggling Brad Penny are due to square off. Jackson is 2-4 with a 5.44 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox, but he hasn’t faced them during his breakthrough season. Jackson ranks second in the AL with a 2.62 ERA, and he hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start since May 4. Penny has given up 12 runs over 11 innings in back-to-back losses, and the Red Sox have lost six of his last seven starts.
– The Rays didn’t take full advantage of Boston’s losses while dropping two out of three in Seattle over the weekend. Now they’re facing the Angels in Anaheim, but they caught a big break in missing both John Lackey and Jered Weaver in the series. Sean O’Sullivan will start for the Angels tonight, followed by Ervin Santana and Trevor Bell. The Rays will use Matt Garza in this one. He has a 3.21 ERA since the All-Star break and a 3.63 mark overall. His .222 average against ranks second in the AL behind Jackson’s .217.
Game of the Night
L.A. Dodgers vs. San Francisco – The Dodgers have dropped 10 of their last 15 games to shrink their NL West lead to 5 1/2 games over the Giants and Rockies. They’ll be sending Hiroki Kuroda to the mound tonight in a bid to halt their current losing streak. While the Dodgers are struggling overall, they’re 4-0 in the right-hander’s starts since the All-Star break. The Giants will start Jonathan Sanchez, who has won back-to-back starts to improve to 5-9 with a 4.49 ERA for the season. Odds are that something will have to give tonight. Both Kuroda (in four starts) and Sanchez (in five) are winless in Dodger-Giant games in their careers.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.