The Red Sox will conclude their four-game series against the Orioles on Marathon Monday when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound against southpaw Wei-Yin Chen.
Buchholz has yet to replicate his early-season magic from 2013, when he looked like a Cy Young candidate. In 2014, the 29-year-old has gone 0-1, posting a 5.51 ERA and a 1.714 WHIP, both above his career averages, a 3.64 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
The Texas native has shown improvement in his three starts, giving up less hits and putting his team in a position to win. His last start came Wednesday against the White Sox. Buchholz lasted six innings that day, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking two.
The Red Sox went on to win the game 6-4 in 14 innings. While Buchholz went six innings, he pitched 51 pitches in the first two innings.
“It was a little bit of a grind there for a couple of innings,” Buchholz said after the game. “It was sort of similar to [Jake Peavy] on [Tuesday] night. I had a long inning and sometimes you’ve got to find a way to pick your team up when things happen in an inning. Tried to battle to get through that first one.
“It’s tough to bounce back from a first inning like that. But this team, everybody knows they like to swing, so I was able to get through a couple of innings later on with a lot fewer pitches than I normally do.”
Buchholz has been successful in his career against the Orioles, posting a 9-3 record with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.276 WHIP in 16 games, 15 of them being starts. Buchholz first faced the Orioles in 2007, appearing twice, once as a starter and once from the bullpen. He combined to pitch 12 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, while striking out 12 and walking five.
2008 would be his worst against the team, going 0-2 with an 11.05 ERA. In 2010, Buchholz once again allowed no runs to Baltimore batters, going 1-0 in two starts. Last year, Buchholz went 2-0 against Baltimore, pitching 14 innings and allowing three total runs.
Chen has been solid for the Orioles, going 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.647 WHIP. The lefty played very well in his last start, a home game against the Rays on April 14. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four and walking two. The Orioles ended up winning the game 7-1.
Chen’s first start of the season was against the Red Sox on April 3 in Baltimore. The 28-year-old didn’t have his best stuff that day, allowing four runs on 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings of work. The Red Sox won the game, 4-3, with Chen getting the loss.
Chen has been average against the Red Sox, going 2-3 with a 5.24 ERA. In three starts against the club in 2012, Chen went 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA. In 2013, Chen started four games against the Sox, going 0-2 with a 7.29 ERA.
Orioles vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Nick Markakis (44 plate appearances): .135 AVG/.273 OBP/.135 SLG, 2 RBIs, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts
Adam Jones (34): .222/.273/.556, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Matt Wieters (34): .200/.294/.267, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
Chris Davis (21): .273/.381/.667, 1 double, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
J.J. Hardy (20): .368/.400/.684, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Ryan Flaherty (12): .273/.333/.273, 3 strikeouts
Nelson Cruz (11): .444/.455/.700, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Delmon Young (9): .111/.111/.111, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Steve Pearce has two strikeouts and no hits in three plate appearances vs. Buchholz.
Jonathan Schoop has no hits in there plate appearances.
Steve Clevenger, Steve Lombardozzi and David Lough have not faced Buchholz.
Red Sox vs. Chen (LHP)
Dustin Pedroia (24): .500/.542/.773, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Jonny Gomes (19): .235/.316/.412, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
David Ortiz (15): .385/.400/.615, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (14): .231/.286/.769, 1 double, 2 home runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
David Ross (13): .308/.308/.385, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 3 strikeouts
Daniel Nava (12): .545/.583/.818, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 stikeouts
A.J. Pierzynski (12): .250/.250/.417, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (3): .667.667/.667, 1 strikeout
Jackie Bradley (3): .667/.667/.667, 1 RBI
Mike Carp, Jonathan Herrera, Brock Holt and Grady Sizemore have not faced Chen.