The Boston Red Sox own the most wins in the AL, and the best overall record in interleague play has helped them accomplish that.
They're now hoping Xander Bogaerts can have an impact in his expected major league debut.
A day after being recalled from the minors, Bogaerts is expected to be in the lineup as the Red Sox attempt to win for the 10th time in 11 interleague games Tuesday night against the last-place San Francisco Giants.
Boston (74-53) leads the AL East by one game over Tampa Bay, and the Red Sox's success versus the opposite league has played a big role.
They're batting .327 and averaging 5.7 runs with a 10-3 interleague record compared to the Rays' 12-8 mark.
Boston has won 17 of 21 against the NL dating to last season, including four of five on the road after opening this three-game series with Monday's 7-0 rout of San Francisco (55-69).
Bogaerts, one of Boston's top prospects, provides depth at third base and shortstop, and hit .297 with 15 homers, 67 RBIs, 23 doubles and six triples in 116 minor league games between Triple-A and Double-A this season.
"He's had a very good year offensively," manager John Farrell said. "He's still got some development to do on the defensive side that he's working through, as well as on the basepaths. But we're talking about a young, exciting offensive player - a very good player all around that, at 20 years of age, is still developing. But we feel like he as a person and his abilities will give us a shot in the arm and make an impact here."
While Bogaerts will be looking to make an early impression, Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury will try to continue their interleague dominance.
Victorino, who spent his first nine seasons in the NL, is hitting .444 with six doubles and six RBIs in nine contests against his former league. The right fielder had three of Boston's 12 hits Monday with an RBI to improve to 7 for 14 over the past three games overall.
Ellsbury singled in the opener to extend his interleague hitting streak to 16 games. He's batting .435 with nine stolen bases during that stretch.
Another strong offensive showing could help Jake Peavy (9-5, 4.41 ERA), who was supported with only six hits in Thursday's 2-1 loss to Toronto. The veteran right-hander tossed six scoreless innings before allowing two runs without getting an out in the seventh.
He's 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA in three starts since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a three-team, seven-player deal last month.
Peavy is making his first appearance in San Francisco since April 21, 2009, with San Diego. He's 8-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 13 career starts there.
The Giants, who have dropped 12 of 16 at home, are scheduled to counter with Ryan Vogelsong (2-4, 6.75), who gave up three runs and six hits over 3 2-3 innings at Washington on Thursday. He stood to get the loss before the Giants scored three in the ninth en route to a 4-3 win.
He was much better six days earlier, limiting Baltimore to two runs in six innings of a 5-2 loss in 10 in his return from a broken hand that sidelined him for 2 1/2 months.
Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 6.68 ERA in six home starts this season, and is facing the Red Sox for the first time since June 19, 2005, with Pittsburgh.
The Associated Press News Service
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