The Red Sox will play the third game of their four-game set with the Royals on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium. Rubby De La Rosa will get the ball and pitch against Kansas City’s Jeremy Guthrie.
Rubby De La Rosa
De La Rosa (4-6, 4.01 ERA) had trouble last Sunday commanding his pitches against the Blue Jays. As the Red Sox attempted to earn a home sweep over their division rivals, De La Rosa weaved in and out of jams in the third and fourth innings.
In the fifth inning, however, De La Rosa couldn’t escape trouble, as Toronto slugger Jose Bautista crushed a three-run home run over the Green Monster and on to Lansdowne Street. De La Rosa’s day was finished after he gave up the three runs and seven hits in four-plus innings.
De La Rosa said after the game that the 2-0 pitch to Bautista that landed near the MassPike was part of his command problems.
“Yeah, I missed that pitch,” De La Rosa said of the home run. “I tried to throw it away.”
Prior to his start against Toronto, the right-hander threw 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball on the road against the Rays, but he did not factor in the decision. De La Rosa’s month of August was an improvement after an abysmal July when he had an ERA close to six. Though he had a higher 1.76 WHIP, his ERA for August was 4.13.
He’s pitched well at Fenway Park this season, but De La Rosa has not had as much success on the road in 2014. His ERA is more than a run higher — 4.57 on the road compared to 3.47 at home — and his batting average against is .294 away from the confines of Fenway.
One of De La Rosa’ best starts this season came against Kansas City in late July. In seven innings, he allowed one run and five hits over seven solid innings. He walked four batters, but he worked around the major jams.
Guthrie (10-11, 4.54 ERA) had one of the worst outings of his season during his previous start on Monday. Against the Tigers, he lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs in the loss.
He’s gotten off to a rocky start in September, but that came after Guthrie completed a good, six-start month of August. In 40 innings, he allowed just 40 hits and 16 earned runs, pitching to the tune of a 3.54 ERA. He finished the month with a 4-1 record — the best he’s finished any month this season.
Guthrie hasn’t pitched against the Red Sox this season, but he made one start at Kauffman Stadium against Boston in August of last year. He allowed 10 hits and five runs over six innings in the loss. Will Middlebrooks had the best game of any current Red Sox player with two hits and an RBI.
David Ortiz and Mike Napoli have had Guthrie’s number throughout his career. Ortiz has three home runs and eight extra-base hits against the right-hander, and Napoli has posted a .316 average in 21 plate appearances.
Red Sox vs. Guthrie (RHP)
David Ortiz (48 career plate appearances): .317 average/.396 OBP/.659 SLG, 3 home runs, 5 doubles, 9 RBIs, 7 strikeouts, 5 walks
Mike Napoli (21): .316/.381/.737, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Jemile Weeks (9): .500/.556/.750, 1 triple
Allen Craig (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout, 1 RBI
Will Middlebrooks (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 RBIs
Daniel Nava (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk
Yoenis Cespedes (3): .000/.000/.000
David Ross (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Royals vs. De La Rosa (RHP)
Omar Infante (5): .250/.200/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI
Billy Butler (4): .500/.500/1.250, 1 home run, 1 RBI
Jarrod Dyson (4): .333/.500/1.000, 1 triple, 1 walk
Alex Gordon (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 walk
Mike Moustakas (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk
Nori Aoki (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Alcides Escobar (3): .000/.000/.000
Eric Hosmer (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout
Raul Ibanez (3): .333/.333/.333
Salvador Perez (3): .000/.000/.000
Josh Willingham (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Jayson Nix was hit by a pitch in his one plate appearance against De La Rosa.