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Sunday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Chad Jenkins

05.12.13 at 9:25 am ET

Ryan Dempster will take the hill for the Red Sox in the rubber game of the series with Toronto on Sunday afternoon, looking for his third win of the year. He’€™ll take on right-hander Chad Jenkins, who will make his first appearance of the season for the Blue Jays.

Dempster has been impressive for the Red Sox this year, bringing a 2-3 record and a 2.93 ERA into Sunday’€™s game. He’€™s managed to keep the Sox in the game every time he’€™s pitched, not allowing more than four runs in any start. What’€™s been surprising about the 36-year-old starter is the amount of strikeouts he’€™s been getting. Dempster has struck out an average of 11.5 hitters per nine innings, and owns a 3.06 strikeout to walk ratio. At the beginning of play on Saturday, Dempster was sixth in the American League with 55 punchouts, and is second on the staff behind Clay Buchholz. In his last outing he struck out eight Twins, giving up four runs on five hits. He’€™s fanned eight or more batters in all but one of his seven starts.

Dempster has enjoyed pitching against the Jays for the most part (except that one time when he missed his start in Toronto because he forgot his passport), coming into the game with a 1-0 record and 4.12 ERA against the divisional rivals in four games (three starts). He earned his second win of 2013 against the Blue Jays back on May 2, going six innings and allowing only one run on four hits while fanning four.

Jenkins, who was just recalled from Double-A New Hampshire and took the roster spot of injured outfielder Rajai Davis, will be making his first major league appearance of 2013 after appearing in 13 games for Toronto in 2012, making three starts and going 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings. Brandon Morrow was initially slated to take on the Sox for the final game of the series but was pushed to Wednesday due to neck and back spasms that have been ailing him recently.

The 25-year-old Jenkins has made an appearance in only one game this year for the Blue Jays’€™ Double-A affiliate, giving up three hits and two runs in five innings pitched. He’€™s never pitched an inning in Triple-A, skipping from Double-A New Hampshire straight to the big leagues in August of last year. The Red Sox got a brief look at the Tennessee native in 2012 when he threw an inning and a third of relief on Sept. 14, allowing two hits and two runs.

The Blue Jays had an array of pitching injuries limit them in 2012, but it could be argued that this year’€™s staff is even more depleted than last year’€™s. Jenkins will be the ninth starter the Jays have used in only 39 games, while they used 12 by the end of 2012. Jenkins also represents the 22nd pitcher to appear for Toronto, a total that leads the majors.

Blue Jays vs. Dempster (RHP)

Emilio Bonifacio (20 plate appearances): .167BA/.250OBP/.167SLG, 1 run batted in, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (17): .071/.235/.071, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jose Bautista (15): .250/.400/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Colby Rasmus (14): .154/.214/.231, 1 2B, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Melky Cabrera (11): .273/.273/.364, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Henry Blanco (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Mark DeRosa (6): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

J.P. Arencibia (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Brett Lawrie (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Adam Lind (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Munenori Kawasaki (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 walk

Rajai Davis and Maicer Izturis are both 0-for-1 against Dempster.

Red Sox vs. Jenkins (RHP)

Pedro Ciriaco (1): 0-0

Jacoby Ellsbury (1): 0-0

Daniel Nava (1): 1-1, 1 RBI

Mike Carp, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, David Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Shane Victorino have not faced Jenkins.

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