|Tuesday’s Game 2 Red Sox-Rays matchups: Erik Bedard vs. Jeff Niemann||08.16.11 at 4:32 pm ET|
The Red Sox and Rays will face off in Game 2 of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday night at Fenway Park. The pitching matchup features left-hander Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.55) against right-hander Jeff Niemann (7-4, 3.43 ERA).
Bedard will be making his third start for the Red Sox since being traded to the team at last month’s trading deadline. In two starts, Bedard has two no-decisions. In his first start on Aug. 4, he gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings against the Indians. The Sox lost the game 7-4. In his last start on Aug. 9, Bedard gave up two runs on three hits in five innings. All the runs came in the first inning when he walked four batters, one forcing in a run. Bedard settled down after the first inning and pitched well.
Bedard has enjoyed a great deal of success against the Rays. He has started 21 games against them and compiled a 11-4 record with a 3.41 ERA. Bedard has faced the Rays twice this season with the Mariners. On June 5 he went seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, but did not factor in the decision. He also faced the Rays is his last game before being traded — his first game back from a stint on the disabled list with sprained knee. The southpaw struggled, only going 1 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on three hits and walking four. He took the loss in the 8-0 defeat.
As for Niemann, in five career starts against Boston he is 2-2 with a 4.56 ERA. He has faced the the Red Sox once before this season. He started the July 17 game at Fenway Park. He pitched quite well, throwing eight shutout innings, striking out 10. He took a no-decision as the the Red Sox ended up winning 1-0 in 16 innings.
Niemann has pitched well of late, earning wins in each of his last three starts. His last outing came on Aug. 11, when he pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on nine hits, in the Rays’ 4-1 win over the Royals.
Red Sox hitters do not have much experience against Niemann. Only Marco Scutaro and David Ortiz have double-digit plate appearances against him, both not fairing too well. Scutaro is a career .167 hitter and Ortiz a .222 hitter against the right-hander.
Like the Red Sox, the Rays do not have too much experience against Bedard. Only four Rays hitters have more than 10 plate appearances against the Sox lefty. B.J. Upton leads the team with 29, but he is only hitting .185 and has struck out 10 times.
Rays vs. Bedard
B.J. Upton (29 plate appearances): .185 BA/.241 OBP/.296 SLG, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 10 strikeouts
Johnny Damon (27): .200/.259/.240, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Ben Zobrist (14): .231/.231/.231
Kelly Shoppach (10): .300/.300/.700, 1 home run, 4 strikeouts
Casey Kotchman: 2-for-5, 2 strikeouts
Matt Joyce: 0-for-3
Sean Rodriguez: 1-for-3, 2 strikeouts
Sam Fuld: 0-for-3
Elliot Johnson: 0-for-3
Desmond Jennings: 0-for-1
Evan Longoria: 0-for-1
Reid Brignac and Robinson Chirinos have not faced the Red Sox starter.
Red Sox vs. Niemann
Marco Scutaro (21 plate appearances): .167 BA/.286 OBP/.167 SLG, 4 strikeouts
David Ortiz (12): .222/.417/.667, 1 home run, 2 RBIs
Kevin Youkilis: 0-for-8, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia: 2-for-6, 2 strikeouts
Jacoby Ellsbury: 0-for-7, 3 strikeouts
Adrian Gonzalez: 1-for-3
Josh Reddick: 0-for-2, 1 strikeout
Jason Varitek: 0-for-3, 1 strikeout
Jed Lowrie: 0-for-1
Mike Aviles, Carl Crawford, Darnell McDonald and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have not faced the Rays starter.
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