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Thursday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Erik Bedard vs. Justin Masterson

08.03.11 at 2:33 pm ET

The Red Sox and Indians will play their season series finale Thursday night in a pitching matchup between a former Red Sox hurler and a brand new Boston trade acquisition. Erik Bedard will make his Red Sox debut in Fenway Park, a venue that hasn’t treated him well in the past. As for Masterson, he returns to Boston for just the second time since being traded for Victor Martinez in 2009.

Bedard (4-7, 3.45 ERA) will be making just his second start since June after missing most of last month with a knee sprain. The 32-year-old left Seattle on a bad note, recording just four outs in his last start with the Mariners. He gave up five runs on three hits and walked four in an 8-0 loss to the Rays.

Despite that lackluster performance, Bedard has posted a solid ERA after a rocky start to the season. He lost his first four starts of the year to go along with a 7.71 ERA, but recovered well with a 1.39 ERA in May, and a 2.25 ERA in June. However, because the Mariners rank 30th in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored, he has very few wins to show for it.

It’s no secret Bedard has struggled as a visitor in Fenway Park. He has a 6.99 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and allowed the Red Sox to hit .270 in six career starts. Of course, he no longer has to face the top-ranked offense in the majors, and will face an Indians lineup that ranks 15th in runs scored and 22nd in batting average.

Back on April 10, Bedard lasted only four innings against the Indians while giving up six runs on 10 hits, including two homers. In 45 combined plate appearances, Cleveland’s lineup has hit .324 off Bedard with two home runs and four RBIs. Travis Hafner is 4-for-14 in his team-high 19 matchups, including five walks and seven strikeouts. Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-6 in eight plate appearances with a home run and two RBIs.

Masterson (8-7, 2.56 ERA) has developed into one of the Indians’ top starters, leading the pitching staff in ERA and strikeouts (112). The right-hander won his first five starts of the season but has gone 3-7 since, despite keeping his ERA below 3.20 throughout the year. In Masterson’s last six losses, the Indians scored just four total runs (0.67 runs per game).

The 26-year-old is coming off one of the best months of his career, going 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA in seven July starts. In 45 2/3 innings, Masterson surrendered 32 hits and eight earned runs while striking out 37 hitters and walking seven. He’s only been taken deep four times this season, and just once since May 30. In his last outing, Masterson pitched through the eighth inning, allowing two runs on nine hits in a 5-2 win over the Royals. Back on May 23, Masterson held the Red Sox to two runs over seven 2/3 innings to lead the Indians to a 3-2 victory.

The Red Sox have compiled 82 plate appearances against Masterson, with Carl Crawford leading the way from his days in Tampa Bay. In 16 career plate appearances, Crawford is hitting .385 with a double, two home runs and four RBIs. Marco Scutaro, on the other hand, has struggled in 13 matchups, managing just one hit and one walk. Newly acquired Mike Aviles has hit .333 in 12 plate appearances vs. Masterson, including an RBI double and three strikeouts.

Indians vs. Bedard

Travis Hafner (19 plate appearances): .286 BA/.474 OBP/.286 SLG, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts

Asdrubal Cabrera (8): 3-for-6, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jack Hannahan (5): 3-for-5, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Michael Brantley (3): 1-for-3, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Austin Kearns (3): 0-for-3, 1 strikeout

Carlos Santana (3): 0-for-3, 1 strikeout

Matt LaPorta (2): 0-for-2, 1 strikeout

Lou Marson (2): 1-for-1, 1 double, 1 walk

Red Sox vs. Masterson

Carl Crawford (16 plate appearances): .385 BA/.438 OBP/.923 SLG, 2 home runs, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Marco Scutaro (13): .083/.154/.083, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Aviles (12): .333/.333/.417, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (9): 2-for-9, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (8): 1-for-7, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jacoby Ellsbury (7): 0-for-6

Kevin Youkilis (6): 0-for-3, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5): 1-for-5, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Adrian Gonzalez (3): 0-for-2, 1 walk

Josh Reddick (3): 0-for-3, 1 strikeout

Read More: Erik Bedard, Indians, justin masterson, Red Sox
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