|Saturday’s Red Sox-Cubs matchups: Jon Lester vs. Jeff Samardzija||06.16.12 at 8:30 am ET|
Jon Lester will take the mound for the Red Sox against Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija on Saturday afternoon as interleague play continues.
Lester (3-4, 4.57) is still searching for his fourth win, having been unsuccessful in his last three starts. In each of those appearances Lester did not factor in the decision, with the Red Sox losing Lester’s last two starts.
In his last outing, Lester allowed three earned runs through seven innings in a 4-3 loss to the Nationals. In the game before that, Lester pitched six innings and gave up two runs in a 8-6 loss to Baltimore.
Lester has fared better on the road than at home this season, recording an ERA of 3.15. His last win, a 7-5 victory over the Phillies, came on the road. Lester pitched six innings of four-run baseball in the May 19 win.
The lefty last faced the Cubs on May 20, 2011, at Fenway Park. He pitched six innings and allowed five earned run in the eventual 15-5 Boston victory. Because it was Lester’s only start against Chicago, not many current Cubs have a wealth of experience against Lester. Outfielder David DeJesus, who spent nine years in the AL, is the exception. He has faced Lester 17 times and recorded one RBI and a .067 batting average.
Samardzija (5-4, 3.96) has struggled recently as well. He lost his last start after allowing eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Twins en route to an 11-3 loss. The righty last won on May 29 when he pitched seven innings of three-run baseball in a 5-3 victory over the Padres.
His last two starts, which the Cubs lost, were both on the road. Samardzija plays better in the comforts of Wrigley field, as he is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA at home in five starts this season.
Like Lester, Samardzija has only faced his Saturday opponent once in his career — in the same 15-5 Boston victory Lester pitched in. Samardzija allowed three earned runs in one inning. No current Red Sox player has appeared against Samardzija more than twice.
Red Sox vs. Samardzija (RHP)
Nick Punto (2 plate appearances): 1.000 BA/1.000 OBP/1.000 SLG, 1 walk
Kevin Youkilis (2): .000/.000/.000
Adrian Gonzalez (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 RBI
Darnell McDonald (1): .000/.000/.000
David Ortiz (1): 1.000/1.000/2.000, 1 double
Dustin Pedroia (1): .000/.000/.000 1 strikeout
Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a walk in one plate appearance.
Cubs vs. Lester (LHP)
David DeJesus (17 plate appearances): .067 BA/.118 OBP/.067 SLG, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Reed Johnson (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Alfonso Soriano (6): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts
Jeff Baker (4): 1.000/1.000/1.000
Darwin Barney (4): .250/.250/.500, 1 double
Starlin Castro (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Bryan LaHair (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Paul Maholm (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Luis Valbuena (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
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