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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Mark Buehrle

05.01.13 at 10:05 am ET
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Clay Buchholz

Both the Red Sox and Clay Buchholz had a tremendous April, better than anyone could have imagined. The right-hander is off to the best start of his career and certainly is an early Cy Young candidate. Buchholz will face off against a struggling Mark Buehrle in the middle game of the Red Sox-Blue Jays series.

Across the board, Buchholz’ numbers are terrific. He is 5-0 with a 1.19 ERA. He has gone at least seven innings in all five of his starts, and all of them have been quality starts. In 37 2/3 innings, he has given up just 25 hits, one home run and 13 walks, while punching out 39 hitters. Buchholz is coming off of a 7 2/3-inning effort against Houston in which he allowed two runs on six hits and struck out 10.

“When he’s able to start commanding the zone and things like that later in the game, that’s when you can see why he’s as good as he is,” Astros catcher Jason Castro said after that game. “He can pretty much throw any of his pitches at you at any time and never really seems to throw the same pitch twice, back-to-back, and that makes it harder to get a feel on him.”

Buchholz had three very good starts vs. the Blue Jays in 2012, going at least seven innings and allowing no more than four runs in each start.

One of Toronto’s offseason acquisitions, Buehrle will look to turn around what has been both a team and personal underperforming season. The former White Sox and Marlins starter is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA and has given up 37 hits and six home runs in just 28 1/3 innings of work.

On Thursday vs. the Yankees, Buehrle allowed five runs on seven hits, including three home runs, in a 5-3 defeat. One of the dingers was hit by Robinson Cano, a three-run shot in the third inning.

“Went fastball in, got in, and he hit it out,” Buehrle said. “He’s a great hitter, and I think that’s why this game is kind of frustrating at times. You make pitches and they get hits.”

Adam Lind has had good success against Buchholz, with two home runs and four RBIs while sporting a .314 batting average in 35 career at-bats. For the Sox, David Ortiz is hitting .361 with three home runs and 13 RBIs against Buehrle in 61 career at-bats.

Red Sox vs. Buehrle (LHP)

David Ortiz (65 plate appearances): .361 BA/.400 OBP/.639 SLG, 3 home runs, 13 RBI, 8 doubles, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (23): .333/.364/.476, 3 doubles, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (16): .462/.500/.692, 2 RBI, 1 triple, 1 double, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (13): .182/.231/.182, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (12): .364/.333/.727, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Jacoby Ellsbury (10): .400/.400/.700, 1 triple, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Will Middlebrooks (5): .400/.400/.400, 1 strikeout

David Ross (5): .400/.400/.400, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (3): .000/.000/.000

Mike Carp, Pedro Ciriaco, Stephen Drew and Daniel Nava have never faced Buehrle.

Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Adam Lind (37): .314/.324/.543, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Jose Bautista (29): .269/.310/.385, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Maicer Izturis (25): .429/.520/.571, 5 RBI, 3 doubles, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (19): .067/.263/.067, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts

Rajai Davis (17): .143/.294/.143, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Brett Lawrie (12): .100/.182/.100, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

J.P. Arencibia (11): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts

Melky Cabrera (9): .143/.333/.143, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Colby Rasmus (8): .167/.286/.167, 1 strikeout

Henry Blanco, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark DeRosa and Munenori Kawasaki have never faced Buchholz.

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