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Sunday’s Red Sox-Royals Game 1 matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Ervin Santana

04.21.13 at 7:53 am ET

Ryan Dempster and Ervin Santana face off in the middle game of the Red Sox-Royals series, both coming off very strong outings. Despite having sub-3 ERAs, Dempster and Santana are a combined 1-2, due to low run support and a couple of bullpen failures. In Santana’s first three starts in a Royals uniform, his team has only scored a total of seven runs, and for Dempster, he has had two potential wins taken away by blown saves by the Sox bullpen.

Dempster will enter his third consecutive Fenway start at 0-1 with a 2.65 ERA. He has struck out at least seven batters in each of his first three starts with his new team and is among the league leaders in K’s and K/9. Dempster’s last start was his best, featuring seven innings of one-run ball against the Rays. He allowed only two hits, one of them a solo home run to Evan Longoria. He also allowed two walks and struck out 10, leaving in position for the win after seven innings.

“Wins are great,” Dempster said. “I’d love to win as many games as I possibly can. I’ve always said if I start 34 games in a season and we go 34-0 and I don’t win any of those games, I’m totally happy with that. I mean that. Anytime I can start a ballgame and we win that ballgame, that’s all that matters.”

Like Dempster, Santana is in his first season with a new club. After spending his first eight seasons with the Angels, he was traded to the Royals on Oct. 31, 2012. While with the Angels, Santana went 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA and was an All-Star in 2008.

In 2013, Santana is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He has pitched eight innings in each of his last two starts, allowing only two earned runs combined, and picking up his first victory on April 8.

In his career vs. the Red Sox, Santana is 3-3 with a 4.13 ERA, with 57 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings. He also has two postseason appearances vs. the Sox, going two shutout innings in relief in the 2007 ALDS, and getting a no-decision in 5 1/3 innings of five-run ball in his Game 2 start in the 2008 ALDS.

It’s no surprise that Mike Napoli has the best career numbers vs. Santana, given that they were batterymates during their Angels days. He has hit .400 off of Santana with three home runs in his career. Meanwhile, Jeff Francoeur hits Dempster at a .353 clip, including one home run.

Royals vs. Dempster (RHP)

Miguel Tejada (30 plate appearances): .286 BA/.300/.429, 1 home run, 4 RBI, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Alcides Escobar (18): .125/.222/.125, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Jeff Francoeur (17): .353/.353/.706, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 doubles

Chris Getz (12): .400/.500/.600, 1 RBI, 1 triple, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

George Kottaras (7): .286/.286/.714, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Billy Butler (6): .500/.500/.833, 1 RBI, 2 doubles, 1 strikeout

Alex Gordon (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts

Mike Moustakas (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout

Eric Hosmer (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Salvador Perez (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 RBI, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Lorenzo Cain has one walk in three plate appearances vs. Dempster. Jarrod Dyson and Elliot Johnson have never faced Dempster.

Red Sox vs. Santana (RHP)

David Ortiz (29 plate appearances): .292/.414/.625, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 doubles, 4 walks, 12 strikeouts

Mike Carp (24): .250/.375/.400, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (22): .150/.227/.250, 2 doubles, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (18): .278/.278/.444, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (17): .200/.294/.600, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (17): .400/.471/1.133, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (6): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5): .250/.400/1.000, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Pedro Ciriaco (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Stephen Drew (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Shane Victorino (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk

David Ross has one strikeout in one plate appearance vs. Santana. Will Middlebrooks has never faced Santana.

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