|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Jeremy Hellickson||09.18.12 at 10:14 am ET|
The Red Sox will look to get back-to-back solid starting pitching performances as they send out Felix Doubront for the second game of their final series in Tampa Bay this season.
Doubront (10-9, 5.11 ERA) had a strong showing last time out against the Yankees, giving up two runs over 6 1/3 innings. More importantly, the outing ended a rough stretch for Doubront, who had given up four or more runs and pitched five innings or fewer in five consecutive starts, and continued his success this season against New York.
The last time Doubront faced the Rays was back in May, when Doubront had been instrumental in holding the starting rotation together. In 5 2/3 innings, Doubront surrendered one earned run while striking out seven. The performance was a major improvement in comparison to his first start against the Rays this season, when Doubront lasted five innings but gave up four runs in his one poor performance in April.
Over his career, Doubront has had moderate success against Tampa Bay, going 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in six appearances, including three starts. However, the members of the Rays that Doubront will see on Tuesday have done a good job of knocking him around in the past, hitting .338 against him with a 1.019 OPS. While Doubront’s history is limited to any individual Rays player, he has been knocked around in small sample sizes against a large portion of the team’s lineup. Meanwhile, the two players Doubront has faced the most, Ben Zobrist and Carlos Pena, are batting a combined .176 against him with nine strikeouts in 19 plate appearances.
Making the start opposite Doubront will be the Rays starter with the second-best ERA in the rotation, Jeremy Hellickson. Trailing only Cy Young candidate David Price in terms of runs allowed, the 25-year-old Hellickson (8-10, 3.22 ERA) has become yet another young pillar of a Tampa Bay rotation that continues to reload itself with talent.
Hellickson comes into Tuesday’s game in the wake of two lights-out performances this month. Against the Rangers and Orioles, Hellickson pitched a combined 11 innings and gave up one run. This followed an August that turned out to produce the second-highest ERA (3.97) of any month this season.
The Red Sox haven’t seen Hellickson since July 13, when he threw the second-most pitches has has all season (113) and gave up three runs over six innings of work and took the loss in a 3-1 Red Sox win. The serviceable start was a marked improvement upon his first outing against the Red Sox in his second start, in which he gave up five runs in five innings.
In his career, Hellickson has posted a 3-2 record with a 4.29 ERA, his second-worst mark against an AL team. Against the lineup he will see on Tuesday, Hellickson posted solid numbers, limiting the group to a .247 batting average with a .707 OPS against him.
Red Sox vs. Hellickson (RHP)
Dustin Pedroia (22 plate appearances): .250 BA/.318 OBP/.500 SLG, 1 triple, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 3 strikeouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (19): .313/.421/.625, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Jacoby Ellsbury (15): .143/.200/.143, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Mike Aviles (12): .200/.273/.300, 1 double
Daniel Nava (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Cody Ross (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Pedro Ciriaco (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 2 RBIs
Mauro Gomez (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Scott Podsednik (3): .667/.667/.667
Rays vs. Doubront (LHP)
Ben Zobrist (10 plate appearances): .222 BA/.300 OBP/.222 SLG, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Carlons Pena (9): .125/.222/.250, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Sean Rodriguez (8): .375/.375/.625, 1 triple
B.J. Upton (8): .333/.429/.500, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Evan Longoria (7): .500/.714/1.000, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks
Luke Scott (7): .333/.429/1.333, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout
Jeff Keppinger (6): .600/.667/.800, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk
Chris Giminez (5): .200/.200/.200
Desmond Jennings (4): .500/.500/.750, 1 double, 1 strikeout
Ben Francisco (3): .667/.667/1.333, 2 doubles
Elliot Johnson (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Matthew Joyce (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Rich Thompson (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Jose Molina has walked in one appearance against Doubront.
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