The Red Sox will kick off a three-game series against the Astros on Friday by sending out knuckleballer Steven Wright. He will be seeking his first win of the season while facing off against righty Collin McHugh.
Both of Wright’s first two starts have come against the Blue Jays, and he has given the Red Sox two solid outings despite losing both of them. In his last start on Sunday, he went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out six and did not walk a single batter. The Red Sox went on to lose the game, 5-3.
In a scary moment during the game, Wright hit Blue Jays batter Chris Colabello in the head. The look of concern on Wright’s face made it clear the pitch was unintentional. The next day, Colabello had a nice bottle of liquor sent to him from Wright as an apology.
“Steven decided that he was gong to send over a gift,” Colabello revealed. “He didn’t have to. I’m sure that’s not cheap, too.”
Wright has had had two career appearances against the Astros, including one start. In five total innings he has a 7.20 ERA and 1.400 WHIP, along with five strikeouts and two walks. He has not factored into a decision in either of those outings.
McHugh is 1-2 in three starts to begin the year. In his last outing last Saturday against the Tigers, he was hit hard. He allowed four runs on 10 hits, lasting 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked none in a game both he and the Astros would lose.
“I thought McHugh hung in there pretty well,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said after the game. “He obviously had a couple of innings where they got back-to-back doubles, got a couple hits in a row, they had guys on base the whole game. Just traffic all over the place and they never let up.”
In three career starts against the Red Sox, McHugh is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.582 WHIP. He has 11 strikeouts and eight walks in 18 1/3 innings.
Red Sox vs. McHugh (RHP)
Brock Holt (10 plate appearances): .375 AVG/.500 OBP/.375 SLG, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (9): .375/.444/.500, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
David Ortiz is hitless in nine at-bats, with two walks.
Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young each have one hit in six plate appearances. Ramirez has one walk and one strikeout, while Young has two strikeouts.
Mookie Betts is 1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and one walk.
Ryan Hanigan is 0-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.
Dustin Pedroia is 1-for-4 with one RBI and one strikeout.
Jackie Bradley is 2-for-3 with one walk.
Astros vs. Wright (RHP)
Jose Altuve has one hit in three career plate appearances, with two strikeouts.
Jason Castro is the only other Astros batter to register a hit, as he is 1-for-1.
Marwin Gonzalez and Colby Rasmus both are 0-for-1, with Rasmus striking out in his lone at-bat.