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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. David Price

09.10.13 at 9:46 am ET
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Clay Buchholz makes his long-awaited return from the disabled list when he faces reigning AL Cy Young award winner David Price and the Rays on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.

Buchholz spent more than three months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Buchholz will be on a 75-80 pitch limit against second-place Tampa Bay, which enters the three-game series 7½ games behind Boston in the AL East.

‘€œAt a certain point, yeah, I didn’€™t really think I’€™d be able to throw or let it go again. That’€™s what I was feeling. That feeling’€™s gone, and I feel good now,’€ said Buchholz after a bullpen session Sunday. ‘€œMentally I’€™m ready. I think that’€™s what everyone was questioning — mental toughness and everything. But I know my body better than everybody else does. I’€™m comfortable pitching now. There’€™s nothing wrong that’€™s come up.’€

Through more than two months, Buchholz was enjoying his best season of his seven-year career. In 84 1/3 innings, the righty produced career highs in ERA (1.71) and WHIP (1.02), and his best strikeout-per-nine ratio (8.5) since 2008. He also posted an unblemished 9-0 record.

Buchholz made his last start on June 8, a 7-2 win against the Angels, when he gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Buchholz faced the Rays at Fenway Park in his third start of the season, and he dazzled. He struck out a career-high 11 in eight innings and allowed just two hits and zero runs.

Price, who led the AL in ERA (2.56) and wins (20) en route to winning the 2012 AL Cy Young award, enters Tuesday’€™s game on a cold streak.

His ERA over his last five outings sits at 4.78. In his last start, Price was roughed up the Angels for six runs and 11 hits in seven innings. The 11 hits were the most Price has allowed since May 10, 2012.

It’€™s been a strange up-and-down season for Price, who went on the disabled list for a triceps injury on May 16, after a putrid start against the Red Sox in which he lasted only 2 1/3 innings. His ERA at the time was 5.24.

On July 2, Price made his first start in a month and a half, and the rest clearly did him well as he morphed back into the Cy Young version of himself. From that date to Aug. 9, Price’€™s ERA was 1.40. In 64 1/3 innings, the lefty walked just two batters and struck out 44. In back-to-back games at Fenway Park, Price went a combined 16 1/3 innings and allowed just two runs in a pair of wins.

After the ups and downs, Price’€™s ERA has settled at 3.51 entering Tuesday’€™s game.

Red Sox vs. Price (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (48): .286/.375/.452, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts

David Ortiz (39): .235/.333/.324, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (36): .206/.250/.441, 1 HR, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (28): .296/.321/.556, 2 HR, 1 double, 1 walk, 14 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (19): .056/.105/.056, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (19): .235/.316/.235, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (18): .176/.222/.235, 1 double, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

John McDonald (15): .214/.267/.357, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (14): .083/.214/.167, 1 double, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Will Middlebrooks (10): .500/.500/.900, 1 HR, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Lavarnway (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 4 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (8): .000/.125/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Brandon Snyder (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 HR, 1 RBI

David Ross (5): .400/.400/1.600, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Quintin Berry (2): .000/.000/.000

Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mike Carp have not faced Price.

Rays vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Ben Zobrist (40): .118/.250/.147, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts

Luke Scott (39): .219/.359/.500, 2 HR, 3 doubles, 5 RBIs, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts

Evan Longoria (36): .219/.306/.313, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts

Matt Joyce (25): .286/.363/.333, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Jose Molina (22): .350/.364/.400, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Yunel Escobar (20): .200/.368/.400, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout

Desmond Jennings (18): .200/.250/.267, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (14): .100/.308/.100, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

David DeJesus (12): .333/.500/.444, 1 double, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Sean Rodriguez (12): .300/.273/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Delmon Young (9): .111/.111/.111, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

James Loney (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walk

Sam Fuld (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Chris Gimenez (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Jose Lobaton and Wil Myers have not faced Buchholz.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, David Price,
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