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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Hiroki Kuroda

04.03.13 at 10:21 am ET
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Clay Buchholz will look to follow Jon Lester‘s solid Opening Day performance against the “under construction” Yankees lineup on Wednesday night.

Buchholz comes into the season as the No. 2 pitcher in the rotation, although at times last year he seemed like the only pitcher putting up respectable numbers. The right-hander finished 2012 with an 11-8 record and 4.56 ERA in 189 1/3 innings of work.

If not for a rough first couple of months last year, Buchholz’s numbers would have been much better. In April, although he posted a 3-1 record, he had a whopping 8.69 ERA and opponents hit .331 against him. In May, he went 1-1 with a 5.60 ERA and his WHIP stood at 1.76. During the summer, when it seemed like much of the rotation was getting worse, Buchholz got better, finishing a combined 7-2 in June, July and August. He also lowered his season ERA from 7.19 on May 27 to 4.50 on Aug. 28.

Like Lester, Buchholz is coming off of a terrific spring training. In six starts, he went 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA, allowed only 12 hits in 22 2/3 innings pitched, and struck out 22. Last year against the Yankees, Buchholz went 0-2 with a 15.26 ERA.

The Yankees will send 38-year-old right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to the hill. Kuroda was a rock for the Yanks last year, going 16-11, posting a 3.32 ERA and logging 219 2/3 innings. Kuroda was durable in 2012, pitching at least five innings in every start after May 5.

In his second spring training in pinstripes, Kuroda went 1-2 with a 1.53 ERA in 17 2/3 innings and held opponents to a minuscule .191 batting average. In five starts vs. the Red Sox in 2012, Kuroda went 2-0 and allowed 36 hits and just four walks in 35 innings.

With all of the key Yankees injuries, Robinson Cano will have to step up in the remaining two games this series. He has had considerable success against Buchholz in his career, hitting .480 with a home run and three RBIs. New Yankee Vernon Wells has the most experience against Buchholz but only hits .192 against him.

For the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia has hit Kuroda well, batting .429 with a home run and two RBIs. Shane Victorino has struggled, batting .214.

Red Sox vs. Kuroda (RHP)

Shane Victorino (16 plate appearances): .214 BA/.313 OBP/.357 SLG, 2 doubles, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (15): .333/.333/.467, 1 RBI, 2 doubles, 4 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (15): .429/.467/.714, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 1 double, 1 walk

Pedro Ciriaco (13): .250/.250/.417, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12): .182/.250/.455, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (10): .250/.400/.375, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (9): .000/.111/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Mike Carp (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 RBI, 1 double

Mike Napoli (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jose Iglesias (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI

Will Middlebrooks (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

David Ross has never faced Kuroda.

Yankees vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Vernon Wells (29 plate appearances): .192/.276/.231, 2 RBI, 1 double, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Lyle Overbay (26): .273/.385/.318, 1 RBI, 1 double, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Robinson Cano (25): .480/.480/.760, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 doubles, 1 strikeout

Brennan Boesch (18): .167/.167/.333, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Brett Gardner (12): .182/.182/.182, 2 strikeouts

Ichiro Suzuki (8): .250/.250/.250, 1 strikeout

Francisco Cervelli (6): .500/.500/.500, 3 RBI, 1 strikeout

Travis Hafner (6): .333/.333/.333

Jayson Nix (6): .000/.167/.000

Ben Francisco, Eduardo Nunez, Chris Stewart and Kevin Youkilis have never faced Buchholz.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees,
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