|Red Sox vs. Orioles matchups, 6/4||06.04.10 at 2:06 pm ET|
When the Red Sox and Orioles open up their three-game series on Friday night, two young hurlers will be on the mound in Clay Buchholz and Chris Tillman. Buchholz will look to continue his recent success while Tillman will face Boston for the first time in his career.
In his third full season in the majors, Buchholz seems like he’s finally put it all together after having struggles early in his career. Following a loss to the Yankees on May 8 in which he was shelled for five earned runs in only five innings, Buchholz has put together a string of four stellar outings. In that span, he’s recorded a win in each start and has tossed at least six innings without allowing more than two runs. Buchholz’ best performance came in his last start against the Royals when he outdueled Zack Greinke to the tune of seven scoreless innings to improve his record to 7-3.
Facing Baltimore on Friday night, Buchholz will take on the same team against which he made history in 2007 in only his second career start. He tossed a no-hitter in a 10-0 victory, making him only the 21st rookie to complete the feat since 1900. For his career, Buchholz is 4-2 with a 4.21 ERA and a .205 batting average against in six starts against the Orioles.
Opposing Buchholz on the mound in the series opener will be Tillman, a highly touted pitching prospect in his first full season in the majors. After he was called up last year at the end of June, Tillman was solid in his first seven outings before fading in the final month of the season. In five September starts, he went 1-3 and allowed four or more runs in four appearances.
Tillman began the 2010 season at Triple-A Norfolk before being promoted to replace David Hernandez in the fifth spot in the Baltimore rotation. In his first start on May 29 against the Blue Jays, he allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings and got a no-decision in a 5-2 loss. Tillman has never pitched against Boston in his career, and the only Red Sox hitter he’s ever faced is Marco Scutaro when he was on the Athletics.
Boston has been on the rise in its last 16 games, in which it’s gone 12-4 and climbed back within 5 1/2 games of the division-leading Rays. Facing Tillman on Friday night, the Red Sox will look to take advantage of a young pitcher while Buchholz attempts to keep up with David Price for the league lead in wins (8).
Red Sox vs. Tillman
Marco Scutaro (3 career plate appearances against Tillman): .500 average/.667 OBP/.500 slugging, 1 walk
The Baltimore starter has never faced Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Bill Hall, Jeremy Hermida, Mike Lowell, Victor Martinez, Darnell McDonald, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek or Kevin Youkilis.
Orioles vs. Buchholz
Nick Markakis (18 career plate appearances against Buchholz): .154 average/.389 OBP/.154 slugging, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts
Luke Scott (12): .100/.250/.400, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Adam Jones (6): .500/.500/1.500, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBI, 1 walk
Matt Wieters (6): .600/.667/.800, 1 double, 1 walk
Ty Wigginton (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 3 strikeouts
Cesar Izturis (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk
Corey Patterson (4): .000/.000/.000
Miguel Tejada (4): .000/.000/.000
Scott Moore (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Luis Montanez has a hit in his only at-bat against Buchholz with an RBI. The Boston starter has never faced Garrett Atkins, Julio Lugo or Craig Tatum.
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