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Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Allen Webster vs. Kevin Gausman 09.19.14 at 8:40 am ET
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The Red Sox open up a weekend series Friday night against the Orioles at Camden Yards. Allen Webster will pitch against Kevin Gausman.

Allen Webster

Allen Webster

In his previous outing last Friday, Webster (4-3, 6.02 ERA) had one of his finer outings of the season. He threw six innings, allowing just two runs in a winning effort against the Royals. Part of the reason for his success against Kansas City was improved control. After walking at least two batters in each of his previous eight starts, Webster walked just one Royals hitter. Manager John Farrell said he liked what he saw from Webster last time out.

“We know this is an aggressive swinging team, and if you pitch to quality locations early in the count, chances are it can work in your favor,” Farrell said after the game.

Webster has pitched into the sixth inning in his last two starts after not making it out of the fifth frame in two prior appearances. Webster has faced the American League East four times this season, but not the Orioles so far in 2014. Against division foes, he’€™s allowed 15 runs in 17 1/3 innings, leading to a 1-2 record.

The right-hander previously faced the Orioles during the last game of the season in 2013, also at Camden Yards. Over three innings in a shortened start, Webster did not allow a run, struck out two and walked three. Farrell was happy with how Webster responded after a tough beginning of the game.

“It was good to see Webby come out and settle down after a rocky beginning of the first inning. He threw the ball very well,” Farrell said.

No current Orioles player has a hit against Webster.

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Friday’s Red Sox-Royals matchups: Allen Webster vs. Yordano Ventura 09.12.14 at 8:20 am ET
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The Red Sox will play the second game of their road series against the Royals on Friday night, as Allen Webster will make the start against Kansas City’€™s Yordano Ventura.

Allen Webster

Allen Webster

Webster (3-3. 6.47 ERA), who has battled inconsistency this season, is looking to get some positive outings before the season concludes. After a four-inning start in which he gave up six earned runs against the Rays on Aug. 30, he settled down in his next appearance against the Blue Jays last Friday. The right-hander struck out five and surrendered just three runs in 5 1/3 innings, though he did not factor into the decision.

Webster pitched well in the middle innings after a rough first frame when he gave up three hits. However, he gave up a two-run home run to slugger Jose Bautista, ending his night. Webster said he made a mistake in locating his fastball when he gave up the homer.

“€œIf I had located my fastball instead of leaking it middle up where he just missed it the pitch before — he’s not going to miss that pitch twice,”€ Webster said. ‘€œYeah, he’s a good hitter.”

Vying for a spot in the 2015 rotation, Webster has not pitched more than 6 2/3 innings in a start this season in the major leagues. His sub-four ERA with Triple-A Pawtucket hasn’t translated to the Red Sox just yet, as he has a 7.39 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 16 career major league outings.

Though he hasn’t faced an American League Central team this season, Webster’€™s first-ever start came against the Royals during April 2013. In that appearance, Webster scattered three runs and five hits over six innings. He did serve up two home runs, however, including one to Alex Gordon on the first pitch of the game.

“I felt comfortable from, well, not the first pitch, but once I got through that first inning, things started getting smooth for me,”€ Webster said after the game.

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Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Allen Webster vs. Drew Hutchison 09.05.14 at 8:26 am ET
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Allen Webster

Allen Webster

The Red Sox begin a three-game weekend series Friday night against the Blue Jays, with Allen Webster pitching against Drew Hutchison.

Webster (3-3, 6.69) has spent much of the year shuffling between the Red Sox and Triple-A Pawtucket, as he has made just seven starts with Boston in 2014. His last two starts with the Red Sox have not exactly gone swimmingly. He was charged with six runs on eight hits on Aug. 24 against the Mariners, pitching just 4 1/3 innings that day. He did, however, record five strikeouts.

Last time out against the Rays did not prove to be much better for the 24-year-old. Tampa Bay batters tagged him for six runs in four innings of work before he exited for reliever Alex Wilson.

Webster said his command was an issue in that outing, which allowed the Rays to get into favorable hitters’€™ counts.

“I fell behind batters, didn’t get ahead, and when I had to make pitches I left them over the middle of the plate,” Webster said.

Unlike his major league numbers, Webster fared well with the PawSox this year. In 122 innings and 20 starts, his ERA sits at 3.10 and his WHIP at 1.24. Hitters have batted just .234 against him in the minor leagues. Hitters in the big leagues, though, have hit .266 against him, causing his WHIP to rise to 1.63 in the majors. He also has not thrown more than 6 2/3 innings or over 99 pitches in any start with the Red Sox this season.

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Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Allen Webster vs. Hisashi Iwakuma 08.24.14 at 10:12 am ET
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Allen Webster

Allen Webster

The Red Sox will close out both an 11-game homestand and a three-game set with the Mariners on Sunday afternoon, sending Allen Webster to the mound against Hisashi Iwakuma in the series finale.

Webster (3-1, 4.73 ERA) has turned in three straight quality starts for Boston, compiling a 3.86 ERA with a .239/.333/.388 line during that stretch.

In his last start Tuesday against the Angels, Webster gave up seven hits and three runs with three strikeouts over six innings of work in what was eventually a 4-3 Los Angeles win.

“When he’s right like for the vast majority of tonight, put the ball on the ground, ground balls,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s good to see him continue to back up outings in a positive way and build some momentum and I’m sure some confidence in his own right.”

While Webster has settled down after his shaky debut this season, the third inning has continued to be a thorn in the side of the 24-year-old. Twelve of the 15 earned runs that Webster has allowed this season have come during the third.

Webster was rocked in his only career appearance against the Mariners on July 9, 2013, surrendering six hits and seven earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings.

Iwakuma (12-6, 2.57 ERA) has been extremely effective as of late, posting a 7-2 record with a 1.63 ERA over his last 10 starts.

In his last outing Tuesday, the 33-year-old shut down the Phillies for eight innings, holding his opponents to just four hits and no runs while racking up 11 strikeouts.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Allen Webster vs. Jered Weaver 08.19.14 at 9:50 am ET
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Allen Webster

Allen Webster

The Red Sox will continue their four-game home series against the Angels on Tuesday, as Boston will send Allen Webster to the mound against Jered Weaver.

After turning in a dismal six-walk start over 2 2/3 innings on Aug. 2, Webster (3-1, 4.79 ERA) rebounded by winning his last two starts, surrendering five earned runs over his last 12 2/3 innings (3.55 ERA).

The 24-year-old righty was solid in his last outing Thursday against the Astros, giving up four runs (three earned) over six innings while striking out two en route to a 9-4 Red Sox win.

“We’re seeing some small gains here,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “When you compare it to two starts ago, where things might’ve gotten away from him a little bit … he did bend today, but he didn’t break. That was an encouraging sign. I think more than anything, he’ll wake up tomorrow knowing there’s another win next to his name. Hopefully that’s added confidence along the way.”

While Webster may have improved over his last few starts, he has struggled at Fenway this season, compiling a 7.27 ERA in two home appearances.

Tuesday will stand as Webster’s second career start against the Angels. In his last appearance against Los Angeles on Aug. 8, Webster gave up two runs over 6 2/3 innings of work.

Weaver (14-7, 3.66 ERA) battled in his last start Wednesday against the Phillies, surrendering eight hits and walking two over six innings but only giving up two runs in what was a 4-3 Angels win.

“With the bullpen we’ve got, quality starts from a starting pitcher are pretty key,” Weaver said. “If you can limit these guys to three runs or less in six innings, we’ve got those guys coming in behind us doing a heck of a job. I’m just trying to keep us in it. This offense is going to break through one of these days.”

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Thursday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Allen Webster vs. Scott Feldman 08.14.14 at 8:58 am ET
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The Red Sox return to Fenway Park on Thursday night to begin a four-game series against the Astros. The Sox begin the 11-game homestand by sending Allen Webster to the mound against Scott Feldman.

Allen Webster

Allen Webster

After a troubling outing against the Yankees in which he lasted just 2 2/3 innings and walked six batters, Webster (2-1, 4.91 ERA) came back with arguably the best outing of his short major league career last Friday. The 24-year-old went a career-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits in a 4-2 win over the Angels. He walked two and struck out three.

Webster’s start Friday is a step in the right direction after the rookie posted an 8.22 ERA in his first 10 major league appearances. Perhaps the most encouraging sign was the low walk total after after he issued 11 free passes in his first eight innings this season.

“I just started going after batters,” Webster said after the game. “After every single pitch, I told myself to just trust my stuff and let it work. Let my defense work behind me.”

Webster has never faced the Astros in his career. His only experience against a National League opponent came in a start against the Padres on July 4, 2013. Webster allowed two runs on five hits over six innings in an 8-2 Red Sox win.

Feldman (6-8, 4.14 ERA) has been one of the Astros’ most reliable starters as of late. The righty is 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA in his last three outings and has had seven quality starts in his last nine. His below-.500 record is indicative of that of a pitcher on a bad team.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Friday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Allen Webster vs. Jered Weaver 08.08.14 at 8:39 am ET
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The Red Sox head out to the West Coast during the second leg of their eight-game road trip to take on the Angels for a three-game set in Anaheim. Boston will send Allen Webster to the mound against Jered Weaver in the series opener.

Webster (1-1, 6.75 ERA) will be looking to bounce back from his last start Saturday against the Yankees, as the right-hander completely lost command on almost all of his pitches.

Webster only lasted 2 2/3 innings, surrendering four earned runs and six walks in what was a 6-4 Yankees victory.

“Yeah, it was clear he lost command of the strike zone,” said manager John Farrell after the game. “And while there’s plenty of stuff in terms of fastball action, swing-and-miss to his changeup, just the ability to make an adjustment from either pitch-to-pitch or hitter-to-hitter was elusive.”

While Webster — who carries an 8.22 ERA in 10 career major league appearances — has had his fair share of growing pains with the Red Sox, Farrell said that the 24-year-old righty is making strides in his goal to gain more consistency in his outings going forward.

“I would say yes, he’s repeating his delivery on his side day,” Farrell said. “We’re also looking forward to seeing the adjustments that might be needed inside a given game be accomplished. That’s always the challenge of bringing the bullpen [session] into the game and executing it, having the wherewithal to step off and regroup if those situations call for it and make necessary adjustments. That’s where our evaluation probably stems. It’s not about stuff; it’s a matter of making adjustments.”

Friday will stand as Webster’€™s first career appearance against the Angels.

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