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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Daisuke Matsuzaka vs. Hiroki Kuroda

10.03.12 at 8:47 am ET
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Daisuke Matsuzaka

The Red Sox have one last chance to play spoilers when they face the Yankees in the regular-season finale in the Bronx. If the Orioles beat the Rays and the Sox beat the Yankees, Baltimore and New York would have a one-game playoff for first place in the AL East.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6, 7.68 ERA) will take the ball for the last-place Red Sox. This will be Matsuzaka’s first start against the Yankees this season. His shortened season after his return from injury has not been stellar. Matsuzaka’s only win came on Aug. 27 against the Royals. He looked sharp, going seven innings, striking out six and allowing no runs in leading the Sox to a 5-1 victory. This looked like the pitcher Sox fans adored during his 18-win season in 2008.

Matsuzaka made his last start on Sept. 19 against the Rays and was horrendous. He went three innings and allowed five earned runs on nine hits. The Rays pounded the Sox, 13-3. Matsuzaka has not gone more than 5 1/3 innings during September. He has allowed 20 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings during starts in September.

Yankees hitters have done particularly well against Matsuzaka. Shortstop Derek Jeter has hit two home runs off the righty in 24 plate appearances. Raul Ibanez, the hero of Tuesday’s comeback win, has four RBIs in 19 plate appearances vs. Matsuzaka.

Hiroki Kuroda (15-11, 3.34 ERA) has enjoyed moderate success after moving to the AL. Kuroda played four seasons with the Dodgers, going 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA, before signing with New York last offseason. Kuroda has started against the Sox four times this season but only received one decision, a 4-1 win on Aug. 19. His worst outing against the Sox came July 6 when he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on 10 hits.

Of the current Sox, Kuroda has faced outfielder (and former National Leaguer) Cody Ross the most. Ross has three doubles, a home run and five strikeouts against the Yankees starter.

Red Sox vs. Kuroda (RHP)

Cody Ross (28 plate appearances): .250 AVG/.250 OBP/.464 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 5 strikeouts

Scott Podsednik (17): .118/.118/.235, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (12): .417/.417/.667, 1 home run, 2 RBIs

Jacoby Ellsbury (11): .364/.364/.545, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Pedro Ciriaco (10): .111/.111/.222

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (9): .250/.333/.625, 1 home run, 3 RBIs

Ryan Kalish (7): .333/.286/.333, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (7): .400/.571/.600, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Mike Aviles (6): .167/.167/.167, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Lavarnway (6): .167/.167/.167, 3 strikeouts

Mauro Gomez (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

James Loney (3): .000/.000/.000

Yankees vs. Matsuzaka (RHP)

Alex Rodriguez (31 plate appearances): .125 AVG/.323 OBP/.250 SLG, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

Ichiro Suzuki (30): .280/.400/.400, 3 doubles, 3 RBI, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts

Robinson Cano (29): .296/.345/.444, 1 double, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 7 strikeouts

Derek Jeter (24): .368/.500/.684, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 4 strikeouts

Raul Ibanez (19): .214/.421/.500, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Curtis Granderson (18): .375/.389/.625, 1 home run, 3 RBIs

Mark Teixeira (16): .417/.563/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Nick Swisher (15): .231/.333/.308, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Brett Gardner (11): .250/.455/.250

Francisco Cervelli (6): .500/.500/.750, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jayson Nix (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts

Eric Chavez (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Andruw Jones (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Eduardo Nunez (2): .000/.000/.000

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