|Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Jason Vargas||07.01.12 at 9:34 am ET|
Despite posting a 3-2 record in the month of June, Felix Doubront could welcome a turn of the calendar to July.
While the left-hander did improve his record to a team-best 8-4, it wasn’t the same Doubront that offered a hint of a possible All-Star selection early on in the season. He recorded an ERA of 5.87 in June, as he saw the number dip to 4.54 for the season, second-worst among Red Sox starters. He threw just one quality start during the month and allowed 7.6 hits per game, a number that increased after a forgettable start his last time out.
That came against the Blue Jays on Monday, when he threw six innings, allowed 11 hits, including two home runs, and seven runs (five earned) and struck only two to pick up his fourth loss of the season. Doubront, who leads the team with 87 strikeouts, hadn’t fanned two or less since May 7 when he struck out two at Kansas City.
The Venezuelan has never faced the Mariners and has only pitched against two of their players in his short big league career. He will oppose Jason Vargas, who also may greet the month of July with pleasure. He went 1-3 in five starts with a 7.87 ERA in June. He enters Sunday afternoon’s matchup with a 7-7 record and a 4.54 ERA for the season.
Vargas did well to rebound from a disastrous performance on June 20, when he lasted only 4 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks and allowed nine hits and 10 runs (all earned) and gave up five home runs. Against the Athletics on Tuesday, he pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and two runs (both earned) while striking out a season-high 10. It wasn’t enough to earn the win though, as he did not get a decision.
The 29-year-old lefty will go for his first win since June 4 against a Red Sox team that he’s 1-2 against with a 4.26 ERA in his career. His last start against the Sox came on May 14, when he lasted six innings, allowed seven hits and five runs (all earned) and struck out just three as he took the loss. The Red Sox roughed him early with a pair of runs in the first and they never looked back in a 6-1 victory.
In 72 career chances against current Sox batters, Vargas has allowed just a .250 batting average and struck out 10. In 12 plate appearances against Vargas, Adrian Gonzalez hits .364 while Kelly Shoppach has batted .444 with a home run in 10 chances.
Red Sox vs. Vargas (LHP)
Adrian Gonzalez (12 plate appearances): .364 BA/.417 OBP/.545 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk
Dustin Pedroia (10): .125/.300/.125, 2 walks
Kelly Shoppach (10): .444/.500/.889, 1 double, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts
David Ortiz (9): .333/.333/.444, 1 double, 2 RBIs
Mike Aviles (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI
Brent Lillibridge (6): .167/.167/.167, 2 strikeouts
Will Middlebrooks (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Daniel Nava (3): .500/.667/2.000, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk
Nick Punto (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks
Cody Ross (3): .333/.333/.333
Aaron Cook (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2): .000/.000/.000
Mariners vs. Doubront (LHP)
John Jaso (3 plate appearances): .333 BA/.333 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 RBI
Jesus Montero (1): .000/.000/.000
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