CHICAGO -- Prior to his team's series finale against the White Sox, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine wouldn't commit to catching Kelly Shoppach each time Josh Beckett takes the mound. Sunday would be the fourth straight game in which Beckett threw to Shoppach, during which time the righty has compiled a 2.57 ERA.
In Beckett's four starts throwing to Saltalamacchia over the past two seasons, the starter's ERA stands at 7.54, with the only pairing this season resulting in a 4 2/3-inning, seven-run loss in Detroit.
"I like all the pairings," said Valentine, who first jokingly explained the move was because Sunday was Shoppach's 32nd birthday. "The way it looks right now, it looks like our catchers and pitchers are working very well together. Matter of fact, I can’t think of a better caught game than Salty did yesterday. Worked in 21 changeups for Jon Lester. I haven’t seen that since I’ve been managing, had swings and misses on changesup. Never let Jon get out of the game-plan. Very, very good. But with Beckett and Kelly, they have a little something going. I’m not writing home about it yet."
It is the second time Shoppach has started against a right-handed pitcher, having just one hit in 11 at-bats against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. Saltalamacchia is a career 2-for-12 vs. Floyd.
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