|Friday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Franklin Morales vs. Jeremy Hellickson||07.13.12 at 9:38 am ET|
The Red Sox begin the second half of the 2012 season at Tropicana Field vs. the Rays with Franklin Morales getting the start. The Sox will try to improve on their mediocre 43-43 record at the All-Star break and gain some ground in the wild card race.
Morales got his first start of the season back on June 17 against the Cubs, and while he was solid in his first three starts, his last one was terrible. In the opener of a July 7 doubleheader vs. the Yankees, Morales was tattooed for six runs on six hits, including four homers, in 3 1/3 innings.
With that ugly start Morales’ ERA dropped from a great 2.51 to 3.50,and his record fell to 1-2. The lefty, who filled in as a starter when the Red Sox sent Daniel Bard down to Triple-A, has given Boston two quality starts in four attempts, but he has been able to record just one win.
The 26-year-old hasn’t started against the Rays in his career, but he’s posted a 1.64 ERA over 11 innings. Most of the Rays are unfamiliar with Morales. Carlos Pena has the most at-bats vs. him and is 0-for-6.
Tampa Bay, 45-41 and a half-game back in the wild card race, will send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound opposite Morales.
Hellickson has a decent ERA at 3.41, even though his record sits at a mediocre 4-5. Nine of his 15 starts have been of the quality variety, despite him allowing on average a little bit more than one home run a start (1.07).
In his last outing on July 5, the righty allowed two solo shots in a 3-1 loss to Cleveland. While he did finish with a quality start, his inability to keep the ball in the park was enough to saddle him with his fifth loss of the season.
The 25-year-old is 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in seven starts vs. Boston, including three starts this season. Hellickson was rocked at Fenway on April 14, allowing five runs over five innings in a 13-5 Rays loss. Then on May 16 he bounced back by allowing only one run over six innings to get his fourth win. Finally on May 27 in Boston, he allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings in a no-decision. David Ortiz has had the most success of any current Red Sox against Hellickson, going 6-for-17 with one home run and two RBIs.
Red Sox vs. Hellickson (RHP)
David Ortiz (22 plate appearances): .353 BA/.500 OBP/.647 SLG, 1 triple, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 5 walks
Adrian Gonzalez (21): .176/.333/.647, 1 triple, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 4 walks, strikeouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (16): .286/.375/.643, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 walk, 2 strikeouts
Mike Aviles (9): .250/.250/.375, 1 double
Will Middlebrooks (6): .167/.167/.167, 4 strikeouts
Cody Ross (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Daniel Nava (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Sweeney (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 walk
Rays vs. Morales (LHP)
Carlos Pena (6 plate appearances): .000 BA/.000 OBP/.000 SLG, 4 strikeouts
Ben Zobrist (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts
Sean Rodriguez (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Luke Scott (3): .500/.667/.500
Desmond Jennings (2): .000/.000/.000
Elliot Johnson (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 strikeout
B.J. Upton (2): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Jose Lobaton (1): .000/.000/.000
Hideki Matsui (1): .000/.000/.000
Jose Molina (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000
Will Rhymes (1): .000/1.000/.000
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