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Friday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Erik Bedard

04.26.13 at 10:57 am ET
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Ryan Dempster will face the Astros on Friday for the first time since he saw them as an NL Central rival, with Erik Bedard taking the mound for Houston. Game time is 7:10 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Dempster’s last outing, his worst of the year, really wasn’t particularly bad. Against the Royals on Sunday, he struck out eight and walked three over seven innings, but a few crucial hits — a homer by Alcides Escobar and a two-run single by Salvador Perez that just eluded Stephen Drew‘s glove — hurt him.

In the start before that, Dempster struck out 10 Rays and walked just two over seven innings to lead the Sox to a 3-2 victory on April 15 (although Andrew Bailey, not Dempster, was credited with the win). His season ERA and WHIP sit at 3.38 and 1.13.

Dempster has pitched against the Astros more often than he has against any other team except the Pirates and Brewers. He’s accumulated a veritable season’s worth of starts against them, throwing 185 1/3 innings over 25 outings.

The Astros have hit him fairly well in those appearances: He has a 4.32 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP against them, although his strikeout-to-walk ratio against them is 1.93 (154 strikeouts to 80 walks).

However, no Astro who played in Dempster’s last appearance against them, on Sept. 18, 2011, is still on the active roster. Of their current crew, Ronny Cedeno has a .353/.389/.412 line against him in 18 appearances, with a double and two RBIs.

The Red Sox are familiar with Bedard from the time he spent in Boston in 2011, although he only made eight starts in August and September after coming to the Red Sox from the Mariners. He never went more than six innings for the Sox, and had a 4.03 ERA in his time there.

As in 2011, the oft-injured Bedard has struggled to go deep into starts this year. After picking up an uncharacteristic three-inning save in the Astros’ season opener, he’s thrown just 8 1/3 innings over his three starts, twice going four innings and once, against the A’s, lasting just 1/3 of an inning.

However, the Sox haven’t fared particularly well against Bedard in his career. No current Boston player is hitting better than David Ortiz‘s .208/.375/.375 line against him. Ortiz, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli have all homered off of Bedard (Napoli twice) in 32, 28 and 19 appearances, respectively.

Astros vs. Dempster (RHP)

Ronny Cedeno (18 plate appearances): .353 BA/.389 OBP/.412 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Rick Ankiel (16): .125/.125/.125, 5 strikeouts

Wesley Wright (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 single

Jose Altuve and Jason Castro have never reached base against Dempster in three PAs each. Brandon Barnes, Chris Carter, Carlos Corporan, Matt Dominguez, Marwin Gonzalez, Brandon Laird, Fernando Martinez and Carlos Pena have never faced Dempster.

Red Sox vs. Bedard (LHP)

David Ortiz (32): .208/.375/.375, 1 HR, 1 double, 4 RBI, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (28): .174/.321/.304, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (19): .200/.386/.600, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (16): .071/.188/.071, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (9): .111/.111/.111, 5 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (9): .143/.333/.143, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (2): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

David Ross has never reached base in his two PAs against Bedard. Mike Carp, Pedro Ciriaco, Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava have never faced Bedard.

Read More: Erik Bedard, Houston Astros, Ryan Dempster,
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