Major League Baseball
Preview
Boston at Minnesota
When: 2:10 PM ET, Monday, May 25, 2015
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mike Napoli is warming up fast after a rough start to the season and looks to stay red hot when his Boston Red Sox visit the surging Minnesota Twins on Monday for the opener of a three-game series. Napoli, who was batting .162 on May 17, has homered five times – four in the last three days – and knocked in 10 runs over the past six games while going 9-for-21.

Boston posted 14 runs in winning two in a row from the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend after dropping three straight and Minnesota has won 16 of its last 22. The Twins come home -- where they are 14-6 – following a 4-1 road trip, capped by Brian Dozier’s two homers in Sunday’s 8-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Minnesota veteran Ricky Nolasco takes the mound in search of his 100th career victory against Boston’s Joe Kelly. David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval, who has been bothered by a knee injury of late, have each homered three times in their career against Nolasco.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FSN North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Joe Kelly (1-3, 5.13 ERA) vs. Twins RH Ricky Nolasco (4-1, 6.00)

Kelly has not won since his season debut on April 11, but pitched well in his last two outings while allowing three runs over 13 1/3 innings combined. The 26-year-old California native has limited left-handed hitters to a .196 batting average and struck out 43 in 47 1/3 frames overall. Kelly’s only victory came on the road against the New York Yankees and he will meet Minnesota for the first time in his career.

Nolasco has won all four starts since returning from the disabled list in early May, giving up at least three runs in three of them and completing no more than 5 2/3 innings. The 32-year-old has limited the damage despite opponents batting .337 against him overall, but struck out 20 in 21 innings over his last four turns. Sandoval is 10-for-21 and Ortiz 4-for-10 versus Nolasco, who is 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA in five career starts against Boston.

WALK-OFFS

1. Minnesota RF Torii Hunter is 6-for-16 with a homer and five RBIs in his last four games.

2. The Red Sox have won seven of the last nine meetings, but dropped two of three at Minnesota in 2014.

3. The Twins have won nine of their 14 series this season, including six of the last seven.

PREDICTION: Red Sox 6, Twins 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Boston 21-23 W2 10-12 11-11 10-15 0-0 7-6 4-2
Minnesota 25-18 W2 14-6 11-12 2-1 16-15 5-2 2-0
Last Meeting
Boston Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/18/14 MIN 1 BOS 2 x .125 2 .469 .121 1 .359
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston N/A
Minnesota N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston M. Barnes 0 0 0
Minnesota O. Arcia 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 0.00 .000 0
Minnesota 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Boston X. Bogaerts .290 42 .747
Minnesota T. Hunter .281 43 .800
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Boston H. Ramirez 10 24 22
Minnesota B. Dozier 9 34 24
Pitching ERA Avg K
Boston 4.48 .240 326
Minnesota 4.05 .253 247