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Sunday’s Red Sox-Athletics matchups: Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Brett Anderson

09.02.12 at 8:56 am ET

Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his second start since returning from the 15-day DL Sunday against Oakland and will look to repeat the success he found in his first start since returning to the team.

Matsuzaka had easily his best outing of his injury-shortened season last week against the Royals, going seven innings while giving up one unearned run. The start was good enough to earn him his 50th career major league victory and was a positive sign as the beleaguered pitcher nears the end of his contract with the Sox and attempts to stay healthy.

Now almost two months removed from the neck injury that shut him down, Matsuzaka takes the mound against the same team he faced when he sustained the injury after getting shelled for five runs before recording an out in the second inning.

Matsuzaka has fared well against the current A’€™s, who have collectively hit .250 against him, though his four walks against them in 42 plate appearances raise their on-base-percentage to a more dangerous .357. While he has limited exposure to much of the Oakland lineup, Matsuzaka does have a favorable matchup against the former Ray Jonny Gomes, who’€™s batting .154 against him. Meanwhile, former Red Sox Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick have both homered in their only plate appearances against Matsuzaka.

Starting opposite Matsuzaka will be 24-year-old Brett Anderson, who is also making his way back from Tommy John surgery. Unlike Matsuzaka, whose return resulted in a string of rough starts, Anderson has burst back onto the the scene this season, earning back-to-back wins while giving up one run in 14 innings pitched.

The last time Anderson faced the Red Sox was, in fact, his final start before being shut down for Tommy John surgery, an outing he’€™ll want to avoid emulating. After getting eviscerated by the Yankees in his previous start, Anderson had been showing signs of struggling when he took the mound against the Red Sox on June 5, 2011, and didn’€™t fare well against them, either, giving up five runs in five innings pitched.

Even with that last start, Anderson has historically pitched tremendously against the Red Sox, against whom he’€™s started seven times, one more start than he’€™s made against the division-rival Angels. In those seven starts, Anderson has gone 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA, including a shutout on April 19, 2011.

With those seven starts under his belt, Anderson has built a track record against a few of the key members of the Sox lineup, namely Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Through 42 plate appearances, the three have combined for a .119 average, with Ellsbury going hitless.

Red Sox vs. Anderson (LHP)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (15 plate appearances): .200 BA/.200 OBP/.200 SLG, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (14): .167/.286/.250, 1 double, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Jacoby Ellsbury (13): .000/.083/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Scott Podsednik (6): .500/.500/.500, 1 strikeout

Mike Aviles (3): .333/.333/.333

Ryan Kalish (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Cody Ross (2): .000/.500/.000

Athletics vs. Matsuzaka (RHP)

Jonny Gomes (15 plate appearances): .154 BA/.267 OBP/.154 SLG, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Cliff Pennington (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Adam Rosales (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout

Coco Crisp (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Seth Smith (4): 1.000/1.000/1.500, 1 double, 1 walk

Stephen Drew (3): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk

Yoenis Cespedes (1) .000/.000/.000

Brandon Moss (1): 1.000/1.000/4.000, 1 home run, 3 RBI

Josh Reddick (1): 1.000/1.000/4.000, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Derek Norris has a walk in one plate appearance.

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