Rick Porcello will take the mound Sunday afternoon in the third game of a four-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park. He will be matched up against Miguel Gonzalez.
Porcello has had two good outings to start the season, which is something that the rest of the Red Sox pitching staff cannot claim. He has given up three runs in each game and has put up a 3.86 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, 10 strikeouts and three walks. One area of concern is the home run ball, as Porcello has allowed three. Even with the home runs, however, Porcello has been doing a good job of keeping balls in play on the ground. His ground out to air out ratio is 2.09, and opponents are hitting just .185 against him.
Porcello’s last start was the home opener, in which he went eight innings in a victory over the Nationals. He gave up just three earned runs while striking out six and walking one. It was his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.
“I obviously wanted to go out there and put up a good start,” Porcello said after the game. “The guys swung the bats great and really I didn’t have to do a whole lot but throw strikes and keep the ball down. Definitely had some butterflies early on, I was pretty excited, but it was a lot fun.”
In nine career starts against the Orioles, Porcello is 3-5 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.335 WHIP.
Porcello’s opponent on the mound will be Baltimore’s most effective starter early in the season. Gonzalez is 1-1 in two starts, but his loss was a result of his team being shut out by the Rays. He owns a 1.42 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP and has struck out 15 while walking six.
In his most recent start, Gonzalez got the win in a seven-inning outing. He gave up just one run and four hits while striking out ten and walking one.
In eight games and six starts against the Red Sox, the 30-year-old native of Mexico is 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.279 WHIP. In two starts at Fenway last year, Gonzalez went 1-0 and allowed just one earned run in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 10 and walking five.
Orioles vs. Porcello (RHP)
Alejandro De Aza (37 plate appearances): .206 AVG/.270 OBP/.235 SLG, 1 double, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Delmon Young (25): .333/.360/.542, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Adam Jones (24): .167/.167/.167, 6 strikeouts
Travis Snider (12): .100/.250/.100, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Manny Machado (11): .300/.364/.300, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Steve Clevenger (5): .800/.800/1.200, 2 doubles, 1 RBI
Ryan Flaherty (5): .400/.400/.400
Everth Cabrera (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout
Jonathon Schoop has one strikeout in four plate appearances vs. Porcello.
Steve Pearce is 0-for-3 in three plate appearances vs. Porcello.
Caleb Joseph, Ryan Lavarnway, Chris Davis, and David Lough have not faced Porcello.
Red Sox vs. Gonzalez (RHP)
Daniel Nava (18): .333/.444/.400, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (15): .214/.267/.214, 1 RBI
Xander Bogaerts (8): .125/.125/.125, 3 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Mookie Betts (6): .400/.500/1.000, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk
Brock Holt (4): .250/.250/.250
David Ortiz has two walks and two strikeouts in eight plate appearances vs. Gonzalez.
No other Red Sox have faced Gonzalez.