|Thursday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. David Price||09.20.12 at 10:12 am ET|
The Red Sox and Rays close out the series at Tropicana Field by sending their aces to the mound, as Clay Buchholz and David Price square off Thursday night.
After allowing at least three runs in four straight starts, Buchholz (11-6, 4.33 ERA) shut down the Blue Jays in his last outing, notching the win after giving up one earned run over seven innings. Save for an awful showing against the Angels on Aug. 22 (5 2/3 innings, seven earned runs), Buchholz has been hittable but effective enough to go deep into games, going at least seven innings in all but that one start since July 19.
In 12 career starts against the Rays, the 28-year-old Buchholz has a 5-4 record with a 2.76 ERA, but he has had varying degrees of success against them this season. The last time Buchholz faced Tampa Bay resulted in a loss in one of his shorter outings this season: 6 1/3 innings, four earned runs. Before that, Buchholz shut down the Rays on May 27, giving up two earned runs over seven innings but taking a no-decision as the Rays won 4-3. In his first two starts against the Rays this season, Buchholz didn’t fare well, giving up seven runs over 12 innings, picking up a win and a loss over the two outings.
Buchholz’ career marks against the lineup that he’ll see Thursday night are encouraging, as he has limited the current Rays to a .231 batting average against with a .676 OPS against. The two Rays who have done the most damage against Buchholz are the unlikely combo of Matthew Joyce and Jose Molina, who have OPS numbers of 1.000 and .929 against him, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox will be facing off against the Rays’ Cy Young candidate and the MLB’s current ERA leader in Price (18-5, 2.54 ERA). As good as his season numbers look, Price has been even more impressive as of late, putting up a 2.13 second-half ERA.He is coming off of a win against the Yankees on Sept. 14 in which he gave up two runs over seven innings. Price hasn’t been his usual workhorse self as of late due to shoulder soreness, which led to the Rays skipping his spot in the rotation prior to the game against New York.
Over the course of his career, the 27-year-old Price has a 7-4 record with 3.16 ERA in 13 starts against the Red Sox. Against just the lineup he will see on Thursday, Price has posted a .231 batting average against with a .751 OPS against. Much of the Red Sox production in that sample comes from the two Red Sox who have appeared against Price the most: Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, who have OPS totals of 1.030 and 1.118 against Price, respectively.
In three starts against the Red Sox this season, Price is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA, with his last two starts being the most effective. Price got the win against the Red Sox on July 14 when he gave up two earned runs over 7 1/3 innings. He did not get a decision when he gave up just one run against the Sox on May 26. On April 13 against the Red Sox, Price produced his shortest outing of the season, giving up three runs over three innings as the Red Sox won 12-2.
Red Sox vs. Price (LHP)
Dustin Pedroia (28 plate appearances): .348 BA/.464 OBP/.565 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts
Jacoby Ellsbury (21): .316/.381/.737, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks
Mike Aviles (14): .214/.214/.286, 1 double, 2 strikeouts
Cody Ross (11): .125/.364/.250, 1 double, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (10): .125/.300/.250, 1 double, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Daniel Nava (9): .000/.111/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Scott Podsednik (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk
Pedro Ciriaco (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Rays vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Luke Scott (33 plate appearances): .214 BA/.333 OBP/.500 SLG, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Carlos Pena (30): .179/.233/.321, 1 double, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Ben Zobrist (30): .115/.233/.115, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Evan Longoria (27): .208/.296/.292, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
B.J. Upton (23): .300/.391/.500, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Matthew Joyce (16): .417/.500/.500, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Jose Molina (14): .417/.429/.500, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sean Rodriguez (12): .300/.273/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts
Desmond Jennings (7): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk
Jeff Keppinger (6): .200/.333/.400, 1 double, 3 strikeouts
Elliot Johnson (5): .200/.200/.200, 3 strikeouts
Reid Brignac (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Chris Giminez (4): .000/.250/.000
Sam Fuld (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI
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