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Saturday’s Red Sox-Twins matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Scott Diamond

05.18.13 at 5:27 pm ET
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Ryan Dempster

The Red Sox look to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday night, with Ryan Dempster taking the hill against Twins lefty Scott Diamond.

Dempster was roughed up by the Blue Jays in his last outing on Sunday, allowing a season-high six runs on seven hits in five innings, coming out on the losing end of a 12-4 count. The starter’s ERA climbed to 3.75 from 2.93 after the loss, and he failed to go more than five innings for the first time since his second start of the season. His three home runs allowed were the most of any Red Sox starter in a single outing in 2013.

“I didn’t make good pitches and I’ve got to do a better job” Dempster said after the game. “There were sliders that were left up in the zone and I just didn’t have the slider I normally have, and that’s unfortunate.” Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia agreed that the Sox starter was off his game, adding, “He made some good pitches, but I felt like the game plan changed a little bit today from the last few games. … It just seemed any mistake we made, they were all over it.”

Despite the subpar performance against Toronto, Dempster has been a solid No. 3 starter in a reliable Red Sox rotation. Hitters are only batting .205 against Dempster over his eight starts this season, and he’s managed to strike out an average of 11.4 batters per game. Dempster has also avoided getting knocked out of the game early, going at least five innings and throwing over 90 pitches in every one of his outings in 2013.

The veteran righty has faced the Twins five times before in four starts and one relief appearance. A lifetime 5.19 ERA against the Twins is partially due to the 10 runs he allowed in his first outing back in 2002, but Dempster has only given up four earned runs in his last 21 innings against Minnesota. He took on the Twins during the last homestand, going seven innings while allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Scott Diamond

He’ll be matched up against Diamond, like Dempster a native of Canada, for the second time this year. The Red Sox were not able to figure out Diamond in his first career start against the club; the lefty threw seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball, earning his third win of 2013. His last start wasn’t quite as dominant, however, as he gave up six runs to the Orioles on nine hits, including three home runs, one more than his season total prior to the start. The loss extends an unfortunate streak for Diamond, who has not won at his home park, Target Field, in nine starts.

“I got eaten alive out there,” Diamond said after the loss. “It was frustrating, I definitely left a lot of balls up in the zone today and paid for it.”

Diamond owns the second-lowest ERA in a very mediocre Minnesota rotation, coming into the game with a 3-3 record and 4.08 ERA. The lefty has only 15 strikeouts on the season in 35 1/3 innings, which is not out of the ordinary in the Twins rotation. None of the five starters have more than 22 strikeouts on the year.

Red Sox vs. Diamond (LHP)

Shane Victorino (6 plate appearances): .000 BA/.000 OBP/.000 SLG

Jonny Gomes (5): .000/.200/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jacoby Ellsbury (3): .333/.333/.333

Mike Napoli (3): .000/.000/.000

David Ortiz (3): .333/.333/.333

Dustin Pedroia (3): .000/.000/.000

Stephen Drew (2): .500/.500/.500

Will Middlebrooks (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Mike Carp, Pedro Ciriaco, Ryan Lavarnway, and Daniel Nava have not faced Diamond.

Twins vs. Dempster (RHP)

Ryan Doumit (31): .241/.290/.379, 1 home run, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Jamey Carroll (19): .333/.368/.389, 1 double, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Josh Willingham (18): .071/.278/.143, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Joe Mauer (10): .100/.100/.100, 6 strikeouts

Justin Morneau (9): .444/.444/.778, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Trevor Plouffe (9): .111/.111/.111,  3 strikeouts

Brian Dozier (6): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Eduardo Escobar (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Chris Parmalee (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Wilkin Ramirez (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI

Pedro Florimon (2): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks have not faced Dempster.

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