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Red Sox vs. Royals matchups, 4/11

04.10.10 at 5:30 pm ET

Sunday’s pitching matchup features a pair of starters who will be making their first start of the season in the Red SoxClay Buchholz and Kansas City’s Gil Meche.

Buchholz will have had a 10-day layoff since his final start in spring training by the time he toes the rubber in his first action of the 2010 regular season. The 25-year old righthander was 7-4  with a 4.21 ERA in his 16 appearances, with his last victory actually coming against the Royals on Sept. 24. In that game, Buccholz allowed five hits  and no runs while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings, helping the Sox earn a 10-3 victory.

The only other time he faced Kansas City was in 2008, when he took the loss in a 4-3 game at Kauffman Stadium. In that one, Buchoolz was tagged for all four runs and also struggled with his control, walking three and hitting one batter.

Meche likewise only made one start against Boston last season, and was shelled in a 15-9 Red Sox win at Fenway. The KC starter allowed eight runs (six earned) and let up two homers and three walks on the day, lasting just 3 2/3 innings. 2009 was a forgettable year as a whole for Meche, as he went from a 14-11 campaign with a 3.98 ERA to a 6-10 record and 5.09 ERA. Still, the veteran Meche has been respectable against the Sox throughout his career, compling a 5-3 record with a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts.

This is the first year that Meche did not start the Royals’ opener. He has been recovering from a shoulder injury, but looked strong in tossing five scoreless innings against Royals minor leaguers on Tuesday.

There is not a whole lot to go on here with Buchholz’s history against the Royals, but Meche has some history against the Sox lineup.

Red Sox vs. Gil Meche

Victor Martinez (41 plate appearances vs. Meche): .244 average/.244 OBP/.390 slugging, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 8 strikeouts

Marco Scutaro (29): .292/.414/.458, 1 triple, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts

David Ortiz (26): .375/.423/.917, 4 home runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Jason Varitek (20): .188/.350/.375, 1 home run, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts

Mike Lowell (15): .200/.200/.267, 2 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (15): .538/.600/.846, 1 home run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (14): .214/.214/.286, 3 strikeouts

J.D. Drew (12): .300/.417/.400, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (12): .545/.583/.909, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Cameron (6): .250/.500/1.000, 1 home run, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Bill Hall and Jeremy Hermida are both hitless in two and three at bats, respectively, against Meche. Jacoby Ellsbury is 0-2 with a sacrifice fly.

Royals vs. Clay Buchholz

Billy Butler (6 career plate appearances vs. Buchholz): .250/.333/.250, 2 strikeouts

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