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Saturday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Brett Oberholtzer

07.12.14 at 12:24 pm ET
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The Red Sox continue their three-game series against the Astros in Houston Saturday afternoon when they send Jake Peavy to the mound against Brett Oberholtzer.

Peavy (1-7, 4.64 ERA) will take the mound Saturday knowing his days with the Red Sox may be numbered. The right-hander has been the subject of trade rumors as the deadline approaches and the Sox continue to slide, and acknowledged what appears to be an inevitable reality when he addressed the media Tuesday night. But he said unless a deal is actually in place, his focus will be on beating the Astros in his upcoming start.

‘€œIt’€™s an unfortunate situation to have to sit here and talk about the reality of the situation we’€™re in,” Peavy said on Tuesday. “But at the end of the day, I want everybody to know, as my teammates know, when you have to have this, there’€™s obviously going to be talk. My focus and every bit of my energy will be spent giving my effort to beat Houston Saturday night. I got ready for Houston today, threw a bullpen in preparation for that.”

One thing that hasn’t been in question is the way Peavy has pitched in his last two starts. Coming off a seven-run clunker in Seattle June 24, Peavy has bounced back with a pair of strong outings despite not getting the final result he was looking for. He’s given up four runs in his last 12 innings with 10 strikeouts and just two walks. However, he’s yet to get a win since April 25.

The Red Sox have lost Peavy’s last seven starts, including Sunday’s six inning effort against the Orioles. He held Baltimore to two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks, but took a no-decision as the Sox lost the game 7-6 in 12 innings.

Peavy is 7-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 14 career starts against Houston, but hasn’t faced the Astros since 2008 when he was pitching for the Padres. The Houston lineup has changed significantly since then. Peavy hasn’t faced a member of the current Astros lineup in his career.

Oberholtzer (2-7, 4.66 ERA) has spent much of the season bouncing between Triple A and the major leagues. On Saturday, he makes his return to Houston to start for the injured Collin McHugh

Oberholtzer was on the Astros’ opening day rotation before being demoted May 8. The left-hander has been called up twice since then. He last started for Houston July 3 when he gave up five runs, nine hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings in a 5-2 Astros loss to the Angels. Oberholtzer tossed three straight quality starts for Houston before that outing.

‘€œHe’€™s done a tremendous job,’€ Astros manager Bo Porter said of Oberholtzer. ‘€œHe has the right mindset that comes with being able to understand where we are as a team and the times we’€™ve needed to plug him in. I told him he’€™s saved us a lot of times where we needed to bring that guy up just to keep our bullpen intact in the condition that it was in.

‘€œHe’€™s come up and given us quality start after quality start and he understands why we want to keep him build up just in case we have a spot open in our rotation we have a guy that’€™s built up and ready to go.’€

Oberholtzer’s only start against the Red Sox came Aug. 5, 2013, in what was arguably one of the best outings of his career. The lefty shut out the Sox over seven innings, allowing just four hits and two walks in a 2-0 Astros win.

Red Sox vs. Oberholtzer (LHP)

Stephen Drew (3 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.333 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double

Mike Napoli (3): .000/.000/.000

David Ortiz (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Dustin Pedroia (3): .667/.667/.667

Astros vs. Peavy (RHP)

No Astros have faced Peavy.

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