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Saturday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Jon Lester vs. David Price

04.13.13 at 8:22 am ET
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Jon Lester will pitch before the Fenway crowd for the first time this year on Saturday, taking on the Rays at 1:05 p.m. in search of his third win of the season. The Rays will send 2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price to the mound against him.

Lester is coming off an excellent start against the Blue Jays in his last outing. He threw seven shutout innings with six strikeouts and no walks as the Sox offense rolled to a 13-0 win. That was an improvement on a solid first appearance, in which he gave up two runs in five innings against the Yankees on Opening Day.

Price was rocked in his last start, on April 7 against the Indians. He gave up eight runs on 10 hits over five innings, including two home runs, and the Rays were shut out, 13-0. He was closer to his usual self in his first start, allowing two runs in seven innings as the Rays lost to the Orioles on April 2.

Against the Red Sox in his career, Price has generally lived up to his spot at the top of the Rays’ rotation. He has a 3.08 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 15 starts against the Sox, and Boston hitters have a .236/.303/.400 line against him.

Last year, Price faced the Sox five times and struck out 36 batters in 33 2/3 innings, earning a 2.94 ERA.

The last time Lester saw the Rays, he went six innings but gave up home runs to Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco in his penultimate start of 2012, on Sept. 26. He has a 4.30 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 132 career innings against the Rays.

Evan Longoria has a .353 OBP against Lester in 51 PAs, with two homers, two doubles and 8 RBI. Yunel Escobar also has hit Lester well, if not for much power, with a .304/.393/.304 line in 29 PAs.

Jacoby Ellsbury has singled, doubled, tripled and homered against Price (though not all in the same game), with a .286/.348/.667 line in 23 PAs. Dustin Pedroia has also enjoyed success against the Rays’ ace, hitting .323/.417/.516 with a home run against him in 36 appearances.

Rays vs. Lester (LHP)

Evan Longoria (51 plate appearances): .250 BA/.353 OBP/.477 SLG, 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 8 RBI, 7 walks, 14 strikeouts

Ben Zobrist (41): .229/.341/.371, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 6 RBI, 6 walks, 15 strikeouts

Yunel Escobar (29): .304/.393/.304, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Sean Rodriguez (20): .125/.250/.188, 1 double, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Jose Molina (17): .333/.412/.333, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Shelley Duncan (15): .308/.400/.462, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Desmond Jennings (13): .250/.308/.417, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (10): .000/.200/.000, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jose Lobaton (7): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts

Sam Fuld (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Matthew Joyce (4): .667/.750/1.667,1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Ryan Roberts has no hits against Lester in two PAs. James Loney has never faced Lester.

Red Sox vs. Price (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (36): .323/.417/.516, 1 HR, 3 doubles, 2 RBI, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (23): .286/.348/.667, 1 HR, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (16): .067/.125/.067, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (15): .214/.267/.214, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

Pedro Ciriaco (10): .100/.100/.100, 5 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (10): .125/.300/.250, 1 double, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (9): .333/.333/.444, 1 double, 3 strikeouts

Will Middlebrooks (6): .500/.500/1.000, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 strikeout

Shane Victorino (6): .250/.500/.250, 1 RBI, 2 walks

David Ross (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jackie Bradley and Mike Carp have never faced Price.

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