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Saturday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Jake Odorizzi

05.31.14 at 9:15 am ET
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The Red Sox resume their three-game series with the Rays at Fenway Park on Saturday when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Jake Odorizzi.

De La Rosa will make his first start in a Red Sox uniform on Saturday in place of the injured Clay Buchholz. The right-hander was acquired by the Sox in 2012 as part of the trade that sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers, but he has spent most of his time in the Sox organization with Triple-A Pawtucket.

De La Rosa is 2-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts for Pawtucket this season, and is coming off one of his strongest outings of the season. The 25-year-old shut out Syracuse last Saturday on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts over six innings. He got his 2014 off to a strong start with a 1.19 ERA in his first four starts, but struggled with a 5.95 ERA in his next four starts.

“I’ve been working on keeping my ball down, throwing strikes, working with my offspeeds, mix it up a little bit, making the hitter confused. It’€™s worked. I’€™m happy with the results ‘€” a lot of ground balls,” De La Rosa said early in the season. “I made a lot of adjustments this year compared to last year. This year, I feel like my arm is completely loose. I feel I can get through my pitches, throw the ball anywhere.”

De La Rosa hasn’t started a big league game since 2011. He impressed with a 2.89 ERA over 28 innings in July 2011, but had his season cut short by Tommy John surgery.

De La Rosa pitched 11 1/3 innings out of the bullpen for the Red Sox last season, going 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA. He gave up seven runs on 15 hits with two walks and six strikeouts. One of those appearances last season came in his lone game against the Rays. He pitched a third of an inning and gave up a run on two hits.

After a slow start to the season, Odorizzi (2-4, 4.56 ERA) has pitched well as of late. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his last five outings, and has allowed seven runs on 19 hits with 35 strikeouts to just 12 walks. He’s allowed one run or fewer in three of his last four starts.

Odorizzi has had trouble going deep into games, however, thanks in large part to high pitch counts. He’€™s gone no more than six innings in each of his 10 starts this season, and has only reached that six-inning mark in three of those outings. The 24-year-old has thrown 963 pitches in 49 1/3 innings this season, 504 of them have come in the 25 2/3 innings he’€™s gone in his last five starts, including a May 20 start against Oakland in which he threw 113 pitches over 4 2/3 innings in a 3-0 loss.

Ordorizzi’€™s most recent start was a good one, but it was heavily overshadowed by the benches-clearing dustup that took place between the Sox and the Rays that Sunday. Ordorizzi gave up a run on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts over six innings, but he settled for a no-decision after reliever Joel Peralta blew a two-run lead in the seventh.

Sunday was just one of two career starts against the Sox for Odorizzi. His last one came in a 3-1 loss at Fenway Park on June 18, 2013. Odorizzi gave up one run — a solo home run by Daniel Nava — on five hits in 5 2/3 innings, but he was plagued by a lack of run support in the no-decision. He has a 1.54 ERA in 11 2/3 innings against the Red Sox with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Rays vs. De La Rose (RHP)

Desmond Jennings and Matthew Joyce are both hitless in their lone plate appearances.

Evan Longoria and Will Myers each doubled in their lone at-bats.

Red Sox vs. Odorizzi (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (6 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.333 OBP/.333 SLG

Daniel Nava (5): .200/.200/.800, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz (5): .200/.200/.200

Xander Bogaerts (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 strikeout

Mike Carp (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Brock Holt (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jackie Bradley is hitless with a strikeout in two plate appearances.

Jonny Gomes  is hitless with a strikeout in two plate appearances.

A.J. Pierzynski has a hit in two plate appearances.

Grady Sizemore has doubled in each of his two plate appearances.

Read More: Jake Ororizzi, Red Sox, rubby de la rosa, tampa bay rays
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