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Saturday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Brad Peacock 08.16.14 at 3:05 pm ET
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Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

The Red Sox play the third game of their four-game series against the Astros on Saturday night when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Brad Peacock.

De La Rosa (4-4, 3.21 ERA) is on a streak of three straight quality starts after an exceptional performance against the Angels last Sunday. The right-hander pitched into the eighth inning the day after the Sox exhausted their bullpen in a 19-inning marathon, and remained strong deep into the game. De La Rosa’s only run allowed came on a leadoff home run by Mike Trout that ended his outing. He scattered five hits, walked three and struck out eight for the win.

“We needed Rubby to go deep, and he did,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “He pitched with a lot of poise. He threw three pitches for strikes.” 

After getting torched for seven runs over four innings in Toronto on July 24, De La Rosa appears to have turned the corner, allowing five runs in his last 19 innings. Most importantly, he’s finally shown he can pitch away from Fenway, posting a 1.38 ERA in his last two starts on the road.

De La Rosa should enjoy being back at home, however. The 25-year-old is 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA in five starts at Fenway this season. He hasn’t faced the Astros since a scoreless inning of relief in Houston last season in which he struck out two. De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three appearances (one start) against the Astros, with the first two appearances coming in 2011.

After giving up 15 combined runs in consecutive starts, Peacock (3-8, 5.25 ERA) bounced back nicely in his start against the Twins on Monday. The righty gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits over five innings in a no-decision. He walked one and struck out five.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox-Astros series preview 08.14.14 at 7:12 pm ET
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For seemingly the first time all season, the Red Sox will return to Fenway Park riding the momentum of a successful road trip.

After posting a 5-3 record during an eight-game stretch away from home, Boston will open up an 11-game homestand with a four-game series against the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox have found themselves on a bit of a roll, winning four out of their last five games.

“Yeah, it was nice, a winning road trip,” said first baseman Mike Napoli, who clobbered a two-run homer in the fifth helped Boston to a 5-4 victory over the Reds Wednesday. “We’re playing better baseball. I feel like there were a couple games we could’ve came away with, too. We’re playing better baseball, the young guys are learning and we’re playing the game the right way. That’s what we need.”

The Astros -€“- sitting at 50 wins on the year — will be looking to match their victory total from last season during their series against Boston. Houston finished the 2013 campaign with a 51-101 record.

Houston will be getting some reinforcements in the outfield, as center fielder Dexter Fowler played his first game in six weeks Wednesday after suffering a back injury June 26.

“Whenever you are athletic and have three guys in the outfield capable of playing center field, we’re improved — cutting balls off, getting to them in the air,” said Houston manager Bo Porter after Houston’€™s 3-1 loss to the Twins Wednesday. “You got a glimpse of that today.”

The Astros are 4-6 over their last 10 games and 1-2 against Boston this season.

Here are the probable pitchers for the four-game series.

Thursday: Allen Webster (2-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman (6-8, 4.14 ERA)

Friday: Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.99 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.07 ERA)

Saturday: Rubby De La Rosa (4-4, 3.21 ERA) vs. Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.25 ERA)

Sunday: Joe Kelly (0-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Colin McHugh (5-9, 3.08 ERA)

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Closing Time: Rubby De La Rosa dominant as Sox take series finale over Angels 08.10.14 at 6:40 pm ET
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After using eight relievers in a 19-inning marathon Saturday night, the Red Sox needed as many innings as they could get from starter Rubby De La Rosa in Sunday’s series finale against the Angels.

De La Rosa not only gave them the innings, but was impressive in doing so.

The right-hander gave up one run on five hits in seven solid innings Sunday afternoon to lead the Sox to a 3-1 win over the Angels. It was the Red Sox‘ first series win since a three-game sweep of the Royals July 18-20.

Caught in a pitcher’s duel with Angels starter Hector Santiago, De La Rosa put together a dominant performance. He walked three and struck out eight in a 110-pitch effort for his first win since July 19.

Sunday’s performance was perfect end to a strong road trip for De La Rosa, who picked up his first win away from Fenway Park this season. He posted a 6.04 ERA in his first four road starts with the Sox this year, but has allowed just two runs in his last 14 innings on the road.

Here’s what went right (and wrong) for the Red Sox as they improved to 52-65 for the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– De La Rosa gave the exhausted Red Sox staff exactly what it needed on Sunday: quality innings. The 25-year-old was nearly unbeatable for most of his outing until a leadoff home run by Mike Trout in the eighth inning chased him from the game.

De La Rosa played with fire early in his outing. He allowed multiple runners to reach base with one or no outs in three of the first four innings, but escaped without any damage. He settled down from there, retiring 11 of the last 13 batters he faced. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sunday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Hector Santiago at 12:24 pm ET
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The Red Sox will close out a three-game set against the Angels Sunday, sending Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Hector Santiago in the series finale.

De La Rosa (3-4, 3.43 ERA) finally appeared to solve his road woes in his last start Tuesday against the Cardinals, holding St. Louis to six hits and just one earned run over six innings of work. Entering the game, De La Rosa had an ERA of 6.04 in four starts away from Fenway Park.

“I feel good,” De La Rosa said after the game. “I feel everything worked. I had a couple of walks. I missed a couple of pitches.”

Despite his struggles in opposing ballparks, De La Rosa has been one of Boston’€™s most consistent starters this season, allowing three runs or less in six of his last seven starts.

In his only career start against the Angels on June 24, 2011, De La Rosa gave up nine hits and five earned runs over six innings.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Cardinals matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Lance Lynn 08.05.14 at 8:06 am ET
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The Red Sox will kick off an eight-game road trip Tuesday when they take on the Cardinals in a three-game set at Busch Stadium. It will be the first time that the teams have played against each other since the 2013 World Series.

Boston will send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound Tuesday in the series opener against Lance Lynn.

It will be a series marked by reunions, as Joe Kelly, Allen Craig, John Lackey and A.J. Pierzynski will all be facing off against their former teams. Lackey was shipped to St. Louis Thursday in a trade deadline deal for Kelly and Craig, while Pierzynski signed with the Cardinals July 26 after Boston designated him for assignment July 9.

“Yeah, the timing of it is a little funky in that regard,” Craig said when discussing his return. “It’s going to be fun to go in there and play against my former teammates and go back to St. Louis. I’m just going to go and play my game and just play.

“I think it’s still sinking in, just being in the clubhouse and seeing a lot of faces and putting the names to faces and that type of stuff. It’s cool to be on this side of the clubhouse and get to know the guys who I played against last year in the World Series.”

De La Rosa (3-4, 3.64 ERA) was solid in his last outing against the Blue Jays on July 29 at Fenway, allowing three runs over six innings of work in what was a 4-2 Blue Jays victory.

“I thought Rubby gave us an opportunity to win,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “He pitched with some men on base. With the exception of the 3-1 changeup to [Anthony] Gose that doesn’t get to the spot for the two-run double on his part, I thought he gave us a solid, solid effort, and we had probably three opportunities where we had multiple men on base, and the timely hit was elusive.”

De La Rosa will be looking to correct his struggles on the road Tuesday, as the 25-year-old righty is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts away from Fenway Park this season — a far cry from the 1.97 ERA that he has compiled in five home starts.

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Closing Time: Rubby De La Rosa’s dominance at home ends as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays 07.29.14 at 10:13 pm ET
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In what has been a Jekyll-and-Hyde season for Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa, an unsightly 6.04 road ERA (four starts) has been balanced by a stellar track record in the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

Entering Tuesday’€™s game against Toronto, De La Rosa had compiled a 3-0 record with a 1.38 ERA in four starts at Fenway –€“ the lowest home ERA of any AL pitcher with at least four home starts this season.

Unfortunately for De La Rosa and the slumping Red Sox, the young right-hander could not add to his impressive track record at home Tuesday night, as De La Rosa and the Sox fell to the Blue Jays, 4-2.

De La Rosa improved from his previous outing against Toronto Thursday (seven runs over four innings) but still labored on the mound, surrendering three earned runs on nine hits in six innings of work. After compiling a 2.64 ERA in his first seven starts this season, De La Rosa has posted an ERA of 8.10 in his last two outings.

At the plate, the Boston lineup could do little against Toronto starter Marcus Stroman. The 23-year-old –€“ who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last outing against Boston last Thursday –€“ held the Red Sox to just one run and five hits over seven innings.

After scoring a season-high 14 runs on July 21, the Red Sox have only scored 17 runs over their last eight games.

The Blue Jays managed to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth off of Junichi Tazawa, and while Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Blue Jays were able to hold the lead and seal the victory.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 48-59 and have lost seven of their last eight games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– One of De La Rosa’€™s strengths this season has been his ability to maneuver out of jams with little to no damage reflected on the scoreboard. Entering Tuesday’€™s game, opponents were hitting jut .158 (3-for-19) with two outs and RISP against De La Rosa this season.

De La Rosa could not continue that trend Tuesday, as the 25-year-old righty surrendered an RBI double to Toronto’€™s No. 9 hitter, Anthony Gose, in the fourth inning, scoring Colby Rasmus and Juan Francisco from second and third, respectively.

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Marcus Stroman at 8:36 am ET
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The Red Sox will look to bounce back from Monday’s disheartening 14-1 loss when they take on the Blue Jays in the second game of a three-game series Tuesday at Fenway Park. Rubby De La Rosa will get the nod for Boston, facing off against fellow youngster Marcus Stroman.

De La Rosa (3-3, 3.54 ERA) has seen his season marked by one deciding variable: location. It is not a matter of the 25-year-old pitcher finding his command with his pitches, but rather where he is playing.

De La Rosa has looked like two different pitchers when taking the hill at Fenway Park or away from it this season. At home, De La Rosa has pitched like an ace, compiling a 3-0 record with a 1.38 ERA. On the road, De La Rosa is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA.

De La Rosa’s last start Thursday against the Blue Jays — at Rogers Centre — was his worst outing of the season, as the righty allowed nine hits and seven runs (six earned) over just four innings of work.

“Clearly, he feels comfortable on the mound at Fenway and is able to channel the emotion and adrenaline inside Fenway Park,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “We’ve got to do something to try and even out the splits as they stand.”

In three career games (one start) against the Blue Jays, De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 11.57 ERA.

Stroman (6-2, 3.21 ERA) may be the youngest member of Toronto’s starting rotation, but he certainly hasn’t shown any rookie nerves on the mound this season. Stroman is 6-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 10 starts this year, leading his club in WHIP (1.10) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.93).

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