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Monday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Max Scherzer

07.30.12 at 9:26 am ET

After pulling back to .500 with a series win in the Bronx, the Red Sox (51-51) return to Fenway Monday night to take on Max Scherzer and the Tigers.

Taking the mound for Boston is a much-improved Clay Buchholz (8-3, 4.93). The 27-year-old was shelled by the Tigers in his first start of the year, giving up seven earned runs over just four innings. Buchholz continued to struggle through much of April and parts of May but ran up an 8-2 record through June 19, thanks in large part to receiving more run support than any pitcher in the league.

Since then, the right-hander dropped a game to the Rays on July 14 in his first start back from a trip to the DL, but he has allowed just one run in each of his last two starts. The offense, however, has abandoned him in those starts, giving him a combined one run of support.

The Sox are 25-28 at home this season, while Buchholz is 5-1 with a 4.83 ERA in nine starts at Fenway. Despite the tough start in April, Buchholz has been effective in his career against the current Tigers lineup, allowing just two home runs in 107 at-bats. Overall, Detroit is hitting .252 with 16 RBIs and 22 strikeouts against him. Jhonny Peralta owns seven of those RBIs, as he boasts a .357 average with two doubles and a single in 14 at-bats against Buchholz.

At 54-48, Detroit enters the final series of a nine-game road trip trailing the White Sox by 1½ games in the Central. Fenway has been anything but friendly to the Tigers, who’€™ve lost seven of their last eight games in the ballpark, including the first three games of their most recent visit in late May.

It was Scherzer (10-5, 4.49 ERA) however, who lead them to a 7-3 victory in the series finale, allowing three earned runs over six innings of work. He was 0-2 with an 11.81 ERA over his previous four matchups and gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings to the Red Sox on April 8.

The 28-year-old has been solid of late, heading into this series 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA over his last seven starts. His 142 strikeouts put him third in the AL behind only teammate Justin Verlander (146) and Seattle’€™s Felix Hernandez (153).

The current Red Sox lineup is hitting a combined .296 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 71 at-bats against Scherzer.

Tigers vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Miguel Cabrera (21 plate appearances): .235 BA/.333 OBP/.353 SLG, 2 double, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Austin Jackson (17): .250/.294/.375, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Jhonny Peralta (16): .357/.375/.500, 2 double, 7 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Brennan Boesch (15): .200/.200/.400, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 strikeout

Ryan Raburn (14): .333/.429/.583, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Alex Avila (8): .400/.625/.600, 1 double, 3 walks, 1 strikeouts

Gerald Laird (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 walk

Omar Infante (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Delmon Young (6): .167/.167/.167, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Ramon Santiago (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Prince Fielder (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single

Don Kelly (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single

Red Sox vs. Scherzer (RHP)

Adrian Gonzalez (16 plate appearances): .143 BA/.250 OBP/.143 SLG, 2 singles, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 RBI

Mike Aviles (10): .400/.400/.500, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Carl Crawford (8): .286/.286/.571, 1 triple, 2 RBIs

Nick Punto (8): .000/.286/.000, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Ryan Sweeney (8): .250/.250/.250, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (7): .286/.286/.714, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (6): .667/.667/1.167, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (5): .667/.800/1.667, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Cody Ross (4): .500/.500/.750, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Kelly Shoppach (4): .000/.500/.000, 2 strikeout

Daniel Nava (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Detroit Tigers, Max Scherzer
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