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Saturday’s Red Sox-Royals matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Danny Duffy

07.19.14 at 11:45 am ET
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The Red Sox continue their three-game series with the Royals at Fenway Park Saturday when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Danny Duffy.

De La Rosa (2-2, 2.89 ERA) was effective in an outing in which he was limited to just 84 pitches over five innings last Wednesday after pitching for Triple-A Pawtucket three days prior. He gave up three runs on six hits and no walks for a no-decision in an eventual 5-4 Red Sox win over the White Sox. De La Rosa’s start may have been stronger if it weren’t for the solo home runs he surrendered in the first and second inning.

“When you miss a location, you pay the price,” De La Rosa said after the game.

De La Rosa’s outing was strong enough to keep him in the rotation for his first start after the All-Star break. Saturday will be the right-hander’s first-career start against the Royals. His only appearance against Kansas City came in a one-inning relief appearance last season. He gave up a pair of solo home runs in the inning.

Duffy (5-9, 2.76 ERA) has been more reliable for the Royals this season than his win-loss record indicates. The lefty started the season in the bullpen while still re-establishing himself after 2012 Tommy John surgery, but he has proven to be an effective starter since cracking the rotation. Duffy has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts, but has lost his last two.

Duffy got a bad break in his most recent outing last Saturday. He allowed two runs (one earned), five hits and no walks to go with six strikeouts over six innings, but was outdueled by Anibal Sanchez in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers.

Saturday will be Duffy’s first start against the Sox since May 8, 2012. He gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision. Duffy is 0-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three career starts against the Red Sox.

Royals vs. De La Rosa (RHP)

Danny Valencia (4 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.000 OBP/.000 SLG, 1 strikeout

Raul Ibanez (3): .333/.333/.333

Billy Butler hit a solo home run in his lone plate appearance.

Alex Gordon, Omar Infante and Mike Moustakas are all hitless in their lone plate appearances.

Red Sox vs. Duffy (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (8 plate appearances): .429 AVG/.500 OBP/.857 SLG, 1 triple, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk

David Ortiz (5): .600/.600/1.200, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs

Mike Napoli (4): .667/.750/2.000, 1 HR, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes struck out in both of his plate appearances.

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