Kevin Correia chalks up a good chunk of his struggles to bad luck, but he's hoping that's beginning to change following one of his best outings of the season.
He'll take the mound again Monday night against the Boston Red Sox as the Minnesota Twins seek their first four-game win streak at Fenway Park in two decades.Correia (3-7, 5.60 ERA) has allowed fewer than three runs just three times in 13 starts, and his seven losses are tied for the second-most in the AL. He looked like a far different pitcher Tuesday, though, giving up six hits in six innings of a 4-0 win at Toronto."It was good because I think I threw the ball not much different than I've been throwing the ball," Correia said. "I think some balls got hit to people and saved us some runs. And that's what you need to have good results. I just think I've been semi-unlucky."The right-hander had a rough outing against the Red Sox on May 14, giving up five runs and nine hits -- including a homer to David Ortiz -- over four innings of a 9-4 loss.Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe homered in that contest, but he won't be around for this matchup after being placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday's 4-3 loss to Detroit due to a strained left oblique muscle suffered in Saturday's defeat.Eduardo Nunez replaced Plouffe in that game, but he aggravated a right hamstring injury later and couldn't play Sunday."It does make it a little more interesting," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website. "Continuously playing short is not good. We want to give ourselves every chance and every option."Joe Mauer had two hits for the Twins (32-35), who have lost back-to-back games following a season high-tying three-game winning streak.Minnesota won the final three of a four-game set in its only visit to Boston in 2013, and has an opportunity to win four in a row at Fenway for the first time since a five-game run from Sept. 25, 1993-June 15, 1994.The Red Sox (31-38) have lost two straight at home following a seven-game win streak there, falling 3-2 in 11 innings to Cleveland on Sunday.Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 5 and is hitting .143 over his last eight, but he enters this contest hitting .361 in his last eight against Minnesota."All we can do is keep going out there and keep getting guys on base and working," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "Guys hit some balls hard. They made some good plays. There's nothing you can do."Boston looks to get back on track with help from Rubby De La Rosa as he looks to snap out of a personal slump.After a stellar season debut May 31 against Tampa Bay, De La Rosa (1-2, 3.93) has given up four runs in 5 2/3 innings while losing his last two starts to Detroit on June 6 and Baltimore on Wednesday."I thought (Wednesday) was an important learning experience for him, the way in which he needs to use his fastball," manager John Farrell said. "Quickly the word spreads around this league on what an individual pitcher will go to."The right-hander hasn't faced the Twins since June 29, 2011, when he allowed one run in seven innings of a 1-0 loss while with the Los Angeles Dodgers.Boston's Stephen Drew returned Sunday after missing six games with a strained right oblique, but Xander Bogaerts was held out with flu-like symptoms. His status for this contest is unclear.
Kevin Correia ranks first in the league this season by throwing 61 percent of his pitches to the outer third of the plate or further outside. A.J. Pierzynski ranks ninth in the league with a .338 average in at-bats ending with an outside pitch from a righty.