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Thursday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Felix Hernandez

08.01.13 at 9:45 am ET

A year and a day after being involved in his own deadline deal ‘€” moving from the Cubs to the Rangers ‘€” right-hander Ryan Dempster will get the ball as the Red Sox host the Mariners and their right-handed ace, Felix Hernandez, in the finale of the midweek series, the last time the teams will face off in 2013.

Dempster has been up and down of late, and he has only recorded one out in the seventh inning in the last month and a half. Still, he owns a 4.30 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in that span of seven starts, numbers that aren’€™t far off from his marks of a 4.24 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 2013.

His last outing, which came in a 7-3 over the Orioles on Saturday in Baltimore, was unspectacular despite his notching the win. Dempster lasted only 84 pitches over 5 1/3 innings as the Orioles touched him up for two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out on four occasions and stranding four runners.

The biggest pitch of the night was a fifth-inning slider to Manny Machado, which he sent to shortstop Stephen Drew for an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

‘€œLuckily I was able to just bear down, make a pitch, get a double play and get out of there,’€ Dempster said afterward.

Manager John Farrell commended Dempster.

‘€œHe stayed out of the middle of the plate, and he used his split effectively,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œHe was able to elevate his fastball to some left-handers to get some fly balls. And I think he’€™s got a feel for how he pitches against his team. ‘€¦ He’€™s not afraid to get behind in the count and use a slider or split to get back in the count or get some mis-hits, and against a very aggressive fastball-hitting team, he matches well.’€

Dempster has seen the Mariners once this season, and it was only three starts ago. On July 11, his final outing before the All-Star break, he tossed 3 1/3 innings while giving up seven runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk. His defense ‘€” namely, a second-inning error from Brock Holt at third base ‘€” let him down, leading to three unearned runs and a much higher pitch count.

Hernandez, meanwhile, matched up against the Sox earlier in that series. He went seven strong innings in an 11-4 Seattle win July 8, limiting the Red Sox to two runs on six hits and two walks.

That was a far cry from a couple of gems he has authored against the Red Sox since coming to the big leagues in 2005, including a complete-game five-hitter in June 2012 and a near-no-hitter in April 2007.

On the season, Hernandez is 11-4 with a 2.34 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He is striking out 9.25 batters per nine innings and has been particularly sharp (2.09 ERA) since mid-June.

Mariners vs. Dempster (RHP)

Humberto Quintero (23 plate appearances): .143 BA/.174 OBP/.286 SLG, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Brendan Ryan (21): .350/.381/.700, 1 double, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Raul Ibanez (18): .278/.278/.278, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Kendrys Morales (11): .300/.364/.700, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Endy Chavez (9): .714/.778/.714, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Michael Saunders (8): .375/.375/.375, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

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

Mike Morse (5): .000/.400/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Kyle Seager (5): .200/.200/.800, 1 home run, 1 RBI

Justin Smoak (5): .000/.400/.000, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Brad Miller (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Joe Saunders (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk

Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin have never faced Dempster.

Red Sox vs. Hernandez (RHP)

Mike Napoli (42 plate appearances): .167 BA/.286 OBP/.306 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 14 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (38): .286/.342/.400, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

David Ortiz (35): .310/.429/.448, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (27): .200/.259/.240, 1 double, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (23): .286/.348/.571, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (17): .214/.294/.214, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (11): .182/.182/.182, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (7): .286/.286/.286, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (4): .667/.750/1.667, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 1 walk

Mike Carp (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Ryan Lavarnway and Brandon Snyder have not faced Hernandez.

Read More: felix hernandez, John Farrell, Ryan Dempster,
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