|Red Sox vs. Rays matchups, 6/30||06.30.10 at 11:11 am ET|
As the Rays continue to struggle, having lost nine of their last 12 games, the Red Sox hope to finish a quick two-game sweep at Fenway Wednesday night with Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound.
Matsuzaka (5-2, 4.50 ERA) has given up three runs or less in his last five starts, having gone five innings last week against Colorado, surrendering five hits and two runs, while also striking out six. After coming off the disabled list for the second time this season (forearm, neck), the hope is that he can find some sort of rhythm heading into the All-Star break.
With a rash of injuries hitting the Red Sox offense, with Victor Martinez joining Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Lowell and Jeremy Hermida on the DL, it will be interesting to see how they function without some of their best hitters. Last night they showed how dangerous they can still be, collecting 10 hits and six walks against the Rays; with James Shields giving up five runs and two walks of his own. Now, however, they turn their attention to another young, powerful right hander in Matt Garza.
Garza (8-5, 4.10 ERA) went eight innings in his last outing against the San Diego Padres, allowing three runs while striking out five. The Red Sox pounded Garza in their last meeting on May 26, with the Sox scoring six runs off the young righty en route to a 11-3 win.
Most Red Sox starters have struggled against Garza in their career, but watch for Adrian Beltre, who in only 16 plate appearances has a .438 average, two home runs and five RBI.
Currently one game behind the Yankees and two ahead of the Rays, the Sox will look to wrap up a successful month of June (18-8 record) and set their sights on taking control of the AL East.
Red Sox vs. Matt Garza
Marco Scutaro (42 career plate appearances against Garza): .222 average/.333OBP/.222 slugging, 2 RBI, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts
Kevin Youkilis (34): .214/.353/.429, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts
David Ortiz (30): .167/.333/.583, 1 double, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Victor Martinez (26): .261/.308/.348, 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
J.D. Drew (25): .143/.240/.333, 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Jason Varitek (22): .158/.273/.211, 1 double, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Adrian Beltre (16): .438/.438/.875, 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald are both hitless against Garza in six combined plate appearances. The Tampa Bay starter has never faced Bill Hall, Daniel Nava, Eric Patterson and Angel Sanchez.
Rays vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka
Carlos Pena (26 career plate appearances against Matsuzaka): .333 average/.538 OBP/.611 slugging, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8 walks, 6 strikeouts
Carl Crawford (15): .214/.267/.214, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
B.J. Upton (15): .077/.200/.308, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Jason Bartlett (14): .143/.143/.286, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 5 strikeouts
Willy Aybar (7): .333/.286/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Evan Longoria (7): .800/.857/1.600, 1 double, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 walk
Ben Zobrist (7): .000/.143/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Hank Blalock (6): .167/.167/.667, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Matthew Joyce (6): .250/.500/.1.000, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk
Kelly Shoppach (6): .400/.500/.400, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
The Boston starter has never faced Reid Brignac, John Jaso and Sean Rodriguez.
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