The Red Sox, Indians, John Lackey and Justin Masterson will all experience a little déjà vu Friday.
On June 2 in Cleveland, Masterson outdueled Lackey and led the Tribe to a 3-2 win. On Friday, the two righties will face off again, this time at Fenway Park.
Masterson shined in that start against Boston, dealing seven shutout innings. He allowed three hits, four walks and fanned 10. But that success can't be noted without mentioning the Red Sox's futility on offense as of late.
Earlier this week against the Orioles, the Red Sox scored just one run in three games. Entering Thursday, Boston had scored the second-fewest runs in the American League this season.
Still, manager John Farrell doesn't want to stray from what's worked. Things were better for the Sox on Thursday in the series opener as they scored five runs on 12 hits.
"We can't abandon the strengths of this team or what these individual players have shown in the past -- and that's to put up relentless at-bats, get on base," Farrell said. "Which, overall, I think we still do a good job of getting on base. I firmly believe that this will turn."
Meanwhile, Lackey has been a mark of consistency for the Red Sox this season. He's posted a 3.18 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a stellar 4.47 K/BB ratio. He's gone eight innings in each of his last two starts.
Masterson allowed two runs, two walks and five hits in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, a 3-2 win over the Rangers.
"Overall, I felt pretty good. We built off of what we did last start," Masterson said on Sunday, referring to the carryover from his strong outing against Boston a few days prior. "I'd say probably when we got a little later into the game, we started dropping on the back side and getting underneath a few more balls than we had before."
Red Sox: Drew sits again Thursday
Stephen Drew missed his fourth consecutive game Thursday with a sore right oblique. Jonathan Herrera played shortstop and Brock Holt played third with Xander Bogaerts getting the night off.
Farrell said Drew would undergo a "full exam" Thursday afternoon to determine if an MRI is needed. Drew felt the oblique tighten during the second round of batting practice Wednesday. He is 1-for-14 since rejoining the club last week.
"Whether or not the MRI is needed tomorrow, and even if there's any question, we'll get it to get all the information possible," Farrell said. "He's frustrated by it, but at the same time, we can't risk any longer-term situation here."
The Red Sox hope it's a day-to-day situation, but they should know more by Friday afternoon.
"I just think the MRI's going to indicate to what extent there's inflammation," Farrell said. "I guess the best way to answer that is, if the MRI is deemed necessary, then after he information that's derived from it, we'll have a better read on the prognosis going forward."
Indians: Backing up Gomes
The Indians activated first baseman Nick Swisher from the disabled list, but veteran designated hitter Jason Giambi (left knee) landed on the 15-day DL on Thursday. As a result, Cleveland was able to keep third-string catcher George Kottaras. With starter Yan Gomes and Kottaras on the roster, corner infielder Carlos Santana can temporarily avoid being the backup catcher.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Santana, who recently returned from a mild concussion, is still willing to catch.
"There's no fear," Francona said. "I think we've talked about it out of concern and trying to keep him healthy and productive, but he's assured us he'll do whatever we ask, which we appreciate. We have talked about it. We want to do the right thing, for sure."
• Bogaerts received a day off Thursday in the midst of an 0-for-16 slump over his last four games. On the season, the third baseman has a .278/.367/.422 slash line.
"I feel like the last four or five games, we've seen a little bit of fatigue and some at-bats that have been uncharacteristic for him," Farrell said. "I feel like he'd benefit from a day down."
• Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz and third baseman Will Middlebrooks will begin rehab assignments with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.
• Farrell asked Francona to be a coach on his staff for the 2014 All-Star Game. Both the American and National League staffs, led by Farrell and Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny, were announced Tuesday.
Farrell served as Boston's pitching coach for several years when Francona managed the club and the two played together on the Indians in 1988.
"That was actually one of the most special things that's ever happened to me in this game -- and I've been blessed to have a lot of good things happen," Francona said Thursday. "I hadn't thought of it, and when he hit with me it, I was shocked, but it took me about 10 seconds to say yes. I was tremendously honored."
• After being given a day off from starting on Thursday, expect hot-hitting corner infielder Lonnie Chisenhall to be back in the lineup for Cleveland. Chisenhall is hitting .393 with a 1.057 OPS on the season. He had hit safely in 21 of his past 26 games, posting a .451 average and 1.260 OPS during that stretch.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.