|Thursday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Franklin Morales vs. C.J. Wilson||08.23.12 at 9:36 am ET|
Franklin Morales takes the mound at Fenway Thursday night as the Red Sox wrap up their three-game series with the Angels.
The 26-year-old Venezuelan was strong in his first start since returning from the bullpen Aug. 5, earning a win with six innings of one-run ball against the Twins, but has pitched progressively worse in his two outings since.
Morales allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings on Aug. 11 as the Sox fell to the Indians. In his last outing Friday night in the Bronx, the Yankees got to him for five runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in the Sox’ 6-4 loss.
On the year, Morales is 3-3 with a 3.67 ERA but has had trouble at home, as his ERA jumps to 5.16 at Fenway. Having spent the majority of his career with Colorado, he has only faced four current Angels who have a combined two singles and no walks in six plate appearances.
Acquired by the Angels in the offseason for $77.5 million over five years, C.J. Wilson (9-9, 3.62 ERA) heads to the hill Thursday, hoping he can help his team continue to make up ground in the standings against his former club, the Rangers.
The lefty had a terrific start to the season, entering the All-Star break at 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA but has struggled since, going 0-4 with a 6.48 ERA in eight starts. Opponents’ batting average against Wilson is up almost 100 points in the second half, from .202 to .295 as the Angels have won just once (against the Royals) since July 6 with the 31-year-old on the mound.
Wilson has not faced the Red Sox this year, but over the previous three seasons he is 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in 10 games against the Sox. He is even better at Fenway, where he boasts a 2-0 record, 0.63 ERA and one save in three games.
The current Red Sox lineup has a combined .227 batting average, with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 88 at-bats against Wilson. While neither have taken him deep, both Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez have given Wilson particular trouble, as Pedroia holds a .400 average with a double, an RBI, a walk and a strikeout in 11 plate appearances, and Gonzalez has three RBIs on three hits in just seven plate appearances.
After the Angels series, the Red Sox will welcome the Royals to Fenway for a four-game series before heading out to Los Angeles to take on the Angels once again.
Angels vs. Morales (LHP)
Dan Haren has one single in three at-bats against Morales. Torii Hunter has a single in his only at-bat, while Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick both are 0-for-1.
Red Sox vs. Wilson (LHP)
Carl Crawford (19 plate appearances): .167 BA/.211 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Danny Valencia (15): .286/.333/.286, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Mike Aviles (11): .200/.273/.500, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Dustin Pedroia (11): .400/.455/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Scott Podsednik (10): .100/.100/.100, 1 single, 2 strikeouts
Adrian Gonzalez (7): .429/.429/.429, 3 singles, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (7): .000/.143/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Nick Punto (6): .250/.500/.250, 1 RBI, 2 walks
Jacoby Ellsbury (4): .500/.500/.750, 1 double
Ryan Lavarnway (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Cody Ross (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
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