The Red Sox will look to salvage what has been a disappointing three-game set against the Rays on Sunday, sending Allen Webster to the hill against Chris Archer in the series finale.
Webster will make his first appearance with Boston this season — starting in place of Jake Peavy, who was traded to the Giants on Saturday.
Acquired from the Dodgers in the August 2012 deal that saw Boston part ways with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, Webster has been solid down at Triple-A Pawtucket this year with a 4-4 record and a 3.10 ERA in 21 games (20 starts).
Amongst International League leaders, Webster entered Sunday eighth in ERA, fourth in strikeouts (100) and fifth in innings pitched (122). The Greensboro, N.C., native has been a reliable presence in the Pawtucket rotation, allowing three runs or fewer in 19 of his 21 appearances this season.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Webster’s experience and consistency were the prime reasons why he was the one to get the call-up to the major leagues.
“At the time when [Rubby De La Rosa] came up, it was either Allen or Rubby, take your pick. So he has been able to maintain the overall command of stuff [better] than a year ago,” Farrell said. “And he’s got another 20-plus starts under his belt at the Triple-A level, which when you take back last year, when you look back last year, his year at Triple-A was a very good one for us. In the process of transitioning to our level here.”
Webster left a lot to be desired in his first run with Boston in 2013, posting a 1-2 record with an 8.60 ERA (29 earned runs in 30 1/3 innings). Sunday will mark Webster’s first career appearance against the Rays.
Archer (6-5, 3.31 ERA) helped Tampa Bay earn its fifth straight win in his last outing against the Twins on June 20, allowing one earned run over 6 1/3 innings.
“I think that today was an average day as far as I go,” Archer said after the game. “I didn’t have my wipeout slider consistently. But I threw some changeups to kind of counteract my slider not quite being where I wanted it to be. And at times when I needed to make pitches with my fastball, I did.”
Archer, who started the season with a 5.16 ERA through his first eight outings, has gone through an impressive turnaround as of late, compiling a 2.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 8.4 K/9 over his last 12 starts.
Archer’s last start against Boston was on May 23, as the 25-year-old righty allowed no earned runs over six innings while striking out 11 in what was a 1-0 Rays win. In five career appearances against the Red Sox, Archer is 1-2 with a 4.81 ERA.
Red Sox vs. Archer (RHP)
Dustin Pedroia (14 plate appearances): .100/.286/.100, 1 single, 2 RBIs
Mike Napoli (11): .100/.182/.100, 1 single, 6 strikeouts
David Ortiz (11): .444/.545/.444, 4 singles, 5 RBIs
Shane Victorino (9): .250/.333/.375, 1 double, 1 RBI
Daniel Nava (8): .200/.500/.800, 1 home run, 3 walks
Xander Bogaerts has one walk and four strikeouts in five plate appearances against Archer.
Jackie Bradley (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 single, 2 strikeouts
Stephen Drew has two strikeouts in four plate appearances against Archer.
Brock Holt has one double in three plate appearances against Archer.
Mike Carp has one single in two plate appearances against Archer.
Rays vs. Webster (RHP)
Logan Forsythe has one strikeout in three plate appearances against Webster.