Clay Buchholz returns to the Red Sox starting rotation on Tuesday when he takes the mound opposite White Sox ace Chris Sale in the second game of a four-game series.
The 2016 season hasn’t been kind to Buchholz, who is 3-6 with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Tuesday’s game will be his first start since May 26 after he was banished to the bullpen, where he was able to string together some decent outings. In his last appearance on Thursday, the right-hander tossed three scoreless frames in a 5-1 loss to the Orioles.
“If Clay can build on the three innings, and the majority of appearances coming out of the bullpen,” Sox manager John Farrell said after the Baltimore game, “we’re moving closer to what typically [has] been Clay’s performance level.”
In his nine-year career, Buchholz is 3-3 vs. Chicago with a 4.04 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in nine starts. He’s defeated the White Sox once already this year in arguably his best start. He allowed two runs on three hits in seven hits while striking out seven.
Opposite of Buchholz will be Sale, whose 11 wins lead the American League. His 2.94 ERA is good for eighth in the league, while his 1.01 WHIP ranks third. The southpaw has won his previous two games, with his last start resulting in a 5-3 win vs. Detroit on Wednesday. The Florida Gulf Coast product tossed 119 pitches, letting up three runs on six hits and striking out seven in seven innings.
“Everyone has to put in extra hours at work, so it’s part of it,” Sale said in regards to the high number of pitches thrown. “That’s my goal every time out, get as deep into the game as I can. We use our bullpen quite a lot. Those guys are tough down there, but you try to give them a break when you can.”
Sale has appeared against Boston nine times in his six-year career, posting a 1-1 record to go along with a 2.51 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. His last outing vs. the Red Sox came Aug. 26 of last year. He didn’t get a decision, but he threw seven frames of scoreless ball while walking two and fanning seven in a 3-0 Red Sox win.
White Sox vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Melky Cabrera (34 plate appearances): .206 AVG/.270 OBP/.294 SLG, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Brett Lawrie (29): .103/.188/.103, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Austin Jackson (21): .238/.304/.476, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Dioner Navarro (20): .300/.333/.350, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Justin Morneau (19): .421/.400/.421, 3 RBIs, 4 strikeouts
Jose Abreu (9): .111/.111/.444, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Adam Eaton (9): .000/.100/.000
Alex Avila (8): .375/.545/.625, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Todd Frazier is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.
Red Sox vs. Sale (LHP)
David Ortiz (13 plate appearances): .385 AVG/.385 OBP/.462 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Brock Holt (11): .091/.091/.091, 2 RBIs, 5 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (10): .500/.583/.800, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Jackie Bradley Jr. (9): .111/.273/.111, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Chris Young (8): .125/.125/.125, 1 strikeout
Mookie Betts (7): .429/.429/.714, 2 doubles, 1 strikeout
Hanley Ramirez (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia is 0-for-6.
Travis Shaw is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.