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Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Tim Wakefield vs. Charlie Furbush

08.14.11 at 2:20 am ET
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The Red Sox and Mariners will wrap up the season series Sunday night at Safeco Field in a pitching matchup of a Boston veteran and a Seattle rookie. Tim Wakefield will take the mound for the Red Sox, boasting 18 more years of major league experience than his 25-year-old counterpart, Charlie Furbush.

After an 8-6 win over the Twins on August 8, the Red Sox are now 11-4 in games that Wakefield (6-4, 4.92 ERA) starts. The veteran logged his third-straight quality start against Minnesota in his last game, lasting seven innings while allowing three earned runs. Aside from a rough seven-run outing on July 24, Wakefield hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since July 1 against Houston.

However, that one rough outing came against the Mariners, who amassed 10 hits, including two home runs, against Wakefield at Fenway Park. Still, the Red Sox and Wakefield managed to record a win, as Boston’s offense exploded for 10 runs in the first five innings on its way to a 12-8 victory. Sunday’s outing will be the knuckleballer’s third of the season against the Mariners. In his first start of the year back on May 1, Wakefield allowed one earned run while striking out three hitters and walking one over 5 2/3 innings. The Boston starter hasn’t lost to Seattle since August of 2010.

Wakefield has handled the Mariners well, holding contact hitters like Ichiro Suzuki and Adam Kennedy well below .300 batting averages. Ichiro has managed just 10 hits in 41 plate appearances, while Kennedy is hitting .219 with a double and a home run in 33 plate appearances. Miguel Olivo has posted respectable power numbers against Wakefield, hitting .278 with two home runs and five RBI in 20 career matchups. As a team, the Mariners are hitting .240 in 138 combined plate appearances vs. the right-hander.

Furbush (2-4, 4.46 ERA) spent the first half of the season in the Tigers’ bullpen before being traded to the Mariners on July 30 with Casper Wells for Doug Fister and David Pauley. Furbush has started two games in Seattle with mixed results. On August 3, he pitched five innings of one-run, two-hit ball but was pulled after just 62 pitches. In his last start, the Rangers touched him up for seven runs on eight hits while drawing four walks in four innings.

The southpaw has performed reasonably well in 55 matchups against left-handed hitting, allowing just one home run while striking out 15 and holding opponents to a .273 average. In two appearances at Safeco Field, Furbush is 1-0 with three strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA. The 25-year-old started just two games with Detroit but pitched five shutout innings against the Red Sox on May 27 as a Tiger at Fenway Park. Furbush allowed just two hits while striking out six batters and walking two. The Red Sox had a four-run lead when he came in, and Boston eventually held on for a 6-3 win.

Josh Reddick and Adrian Gonzalez were the only two Red Sox hitters to solve Furbush in that game, as both hitters went 1-for-2 against the left-hander. However, both Reddick and Gonzalez struck out in their other plate appearances. Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all went o-for-2 against Furbush.

Red Sox vs. Furbush

Carl Crawford (2): 0-for-1, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jacoby Ellsbury (2): 0-for-2

Adrian Gonzalez (2): 1-for-2, 1 strikeout

Jed Lowrie (2): 0-for-1, 1 walk

David Ortiz (2): 0-for-2, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (2): 0-for-2

Josh Reddick (2): 1-for-2, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2): 0-for-2, 1 strikeout

Kevin Youkilis (2): 0-for-2, 1 strikeout

Mariners vs. Wakefield

Ichiro Suzuki (41 plate appearances): .256 BA/.293 OBP/.256 SLG, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Adam Kennedy (33): .219/.242/.344, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts

Miguel Olivo (20): .278/.350/.667, 1 double, 2 home runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Franklin Gutierrez (18): .267/.389/.267, 3 doubles, 1 strikeout

Josh Bard (6): 2-for-5, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Justin Smoak (5): 1-for-5, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Jack Wilson (5): 0-for-5, 1 strikeout

Luis Rodriguez (4): 1-for-4

Mike Carp (3): 1-for-3, 1 strikeout

Casper Wells (3): 0-for-3, 1 strikeout

Read More: Charlie Furbush, Mariners, Red Sox, Tim Wakefield
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