|Sunday’s Red Sox-Cubs matchups: Franklin Morales vs. Paul Maholm||06.17.12 at 10:00 am ET|
Left-hander Franklin Morales will take the mound Sunday for an emergency start as the Red Sox wrap up their three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Morales replaces Josh Beckett, who was placed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Morales, acquired last year from Colorado, will start for the first time since 2009. As a reliever Morales is 0-1 with a 3.04 ERA over 23 2/3 innings. In his last two relief appearances, Morales allowed no runs over a combined 7 1/3 innings. On June 3 against Toronto the 26-year-old picked up the pieces after Daniel Bard couldn’t get out of the second inning after allowing five runs, throwing a scoreless 4 1/3 innings.
Morales has faced the Cubs four times in his career, three times as a reliever and once as a starter. In his only start against Chicago he went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits in a no-decision. The current Cubs lineup is mostly unfamiliar with Morales as only six batters have at-bats vs. him. Reed Johnson has the most at-bats with four.
Paul Maholm is toeing the rubber for the Cubs. The 29-year-old has had a disappointing season, going 4-5 with a 4.91 ERA. Despite having a poor record and ERA, Maholm has at least been able to give the Cubs a solid six innings or more in seven of his 12 starts.
In his last start on June 12 against the Tigers, the lefty went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out seven in a no-decision. The Cubs went on to win, 4-3.
Maholm has one win in one start vs. Boston in his career. In that lone start on June 24 of last year he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits in a 3-1 win as a member of the Pirates. The Red Sox lineup has a decent amount of experience facing Maholm as nine players have at-bats against him. Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-11) and Nick Punto (0-for-7) have the most plate appearances.
Red Sox vs. Maholm (LHP)
Adrian Gonzalez (16 plate appearances): .273 BA/.375 OBP/.364 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Nick Punto (9): .000/.222/.000, 2 walks
Darnell McDonald (7): .286/.286/.429, 1 double, 2 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (3): .333/.333/.333
Scott Podsednik (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk
Kevin Youkilis (3): .000/.667/.000, 1 RBI, 2 walks
Jon Lester (2): .000/.000/.000
Franklin Morales (1): .000/.000/.000
Cubs vs. Morales (LHP)
Reed Johnson (4 plate appearances): .000/.000/.000
Alfonso Soriano (3): .333/.333/.333
Jeff Baker (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI
Darwin Barney (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double
Starlin Castro (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI
Paul Maholm (2): .000/.000/.000
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