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Sunday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Corey Kluber

05.26.13 at 8:25 am ET
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Felix Doubront

Felix Doubront will make his eighth start of 2013 on Sunday in the series finale with the Indians, taking on right-hander Corey Kluber.

It’s been a rough season for Doubront, who has narrowly escaped being taken out of the rotation and has earned the chance to make another start. The lefty has had problems with efficiency and control, throwing an average of 100 pitches per start but failing to go more than 6 2/3 innings in any game. He’s also walked an average of five batters per nine innings.

Doubront showed signs of improvement in his last outing against Chicago. The starter received the tough-luck loss but threw six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Even more encouraging was the fact that through six innings, Doubront threw only 85 pitches and walked only two batters after walking six in his previous outing. The only blemish on Doubront’s evening was a two-run home run to Jeff Keppinger, and the Red Sox were unable to give the starter much run support.

“Not even one mistake, just I threw a good pitch,” Doubront said of the pitch to Keppinger. “A good hitter put a good swing on it and hit it out of the ballpark.”

Doubront will look to carry over the efficiency and command he exhibited in his last start on Sunday afternoon. He’s faced the Indians once already this year, allowing two runs on only four hits in five innings and striking out seven. In three career games against Cleveland, Doubront owns a 2-1 record with a 4.11 ERA while striking out 16 in 15 1/3 innings.

Doubront will be matched up against Kluber, who is 3-3 with a 5.19 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances. Kluber’s ERA was inflated by a rough outing against the Tigers in which he gave up eight runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Otherwise, the right-hander has been a pretty consistent member of the rotation since moving out of the bullpen in late April. Kluber threw a career-high 111 pitches his last time out against the Tigers and fared better this time around, giving up three runs in 6 1/3 innings while striking out eight.

Kluber saw his first game action of 2013 against the Red Sox back on April 17, going an inning in relief and giving up a run on three hits. The 27-year-old also faced the Sox once in 2012, being chased from the game after 3 1/3 innings while allowing six runs on seven hits. Kluber owns a 14.54 ERA in only 4 1/3 innings against Boston.

Kluber has an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio this season, fanning 33 batters while issuing only eight free passes, and walks only 1.6 batters per nine innings on average. He also hasn’t walked a batter in his last two starts. The righty uses five pitches, with his mid-90s sinker being his most utilized. He also throws a cutter in the high-80s, a changeup, slider and four-seam fastball.

Indians vs. Doubront (LHP)

Nick Swisher (17 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.412 OBP/.333 SLG, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Asdrubal Cabrera (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Mark Reynolds (9): .125/.222/.125, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Carlos Santana (9): .222/.222/.222, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Michael Brantley (7): .286/.286/.429, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Ryan Raburn (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 strikeout

Corey Kluber

Jason Kipnis (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Drew Stubbs (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks

Mike Aviles (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Michael Bourn, Jason Giambi and Yan Gomes have not faced Doubront

Red Sox vs. Kluber (RHP)

Stephen Drew (3): .000/.000/.000

Dustin Pedroia (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jacoby Ellsbury (2): .500/.500/.500

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli (1): 1.000/1.000/2.000, 1 double

Daniel Nava (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 RBI

Mike Carp, Pedro Ciriaco, Jonny Gomes, Jose Iglesias, David Ortiz and David Ross have not faced Doubront.

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