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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Allen Webster vs. Hisashi Iwakuma

07.09.13 at 9:41 am ET

The Red Sox will send rookie Allen Webster to the mound Tuesday to take on Hisashi Iwakuma in the second game of a four-game series in Seattle.

Webster (1-2, 7.88 ERA) is starting to settle in as a major league starter after a rough start to his major league career. The 23-year-old had an 11.25 ERA and a .380 opponent batting average through his first three major league starts. However, in his last two starts, he has a 4.50 ERA with a .250 opponent batting average while lasting six innings in each game.

His last start — his first career win — was arguably his best on the season. Webster only allowed two runs on five hits through six innings. While Webster kept Padres bats away from his pitches, he also missed the strike zone a lot, too, only throwing 56 percent of his pitches for strikes and surrendering four walks.

“With each passing start here at this level, he starts to get his feet underneath him,’€ Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ‘€œClearly he’s a work in progress, but today he made a couple of big pitches when he had to.”

Webster has not faced any Mariners hitters in his career. He lost his only career start on the road, when he surrendered five runs on eight hits through 4 1/3 innings.

Iwakuma (7-4, 2.60 ERA) may not be the best-known starting pitcher in the American League, but he has been among the best. The 31-year-old has the best ERA among AL starters, the sixth most innings pitched (121 1/3) and the third-highest WAR for pitchers (3.8).

However, Iwakuma has been in a bit of a slump lately, allowing four runs in each of his last four starts — good for a 5.54 ERA. One thing that Iwakuma has struggled with during the slump is allowing the long ball, as he has given up seven homers in his last three starts. That total is more than he has allowed in the 13 starts prior to those three starts.

No Red Sox hitter has an at-bat against Iwakuma, while Brandon Snyder has the only career plate appearance against the righty (a walk). Iwakuma is significantly better while pitching at Safeco Field, as he has a 1.84 ERA at home and a 3.43 ERA on the road.

Red Sox vs. Iwakuma (RHP)

Brandon Snyder (1): 1.000 OBP, 1 walk

No other Red Sox hitters have faced Iwakuma.

Mariners vs. Webster (RHP)

No Mariners hitters have faced Webster.

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