Looking to end their four-game losing streak, the Red Sox will turn to Rick Porcello on Friday night at Angel Stadium. He’ll be opposed by veteran right-hander Tim Lincecum.
Porcello is 13-2 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.151 WHIP. His 13 wins are one behind the league leaders in that category. Porcello has been especially impressive at Fenway. After defeating the Twins on Sunday, Porcello improved his home record to 10-0, making him the only starting pitcher in the MLB to be unbeaten at home. Against Minnesota, Porcello went 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned), six hits and one walk, while recording eight strikeouts in the 8-7 win.
“I’ve had quite a few starts at home. I just feel good here,” Porcello said. “I feel comfortable pitching in front of our crowd. We play good baseball here.”
While Porcello has fared well at Fenway, he hasn’t had the same luck at Angel Stadium in his career. In four starts he is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA. Overall against the Angels, Porcello is 4-6 with a 6.82 ERA and a 1.573 WHIP in 13 starts. Porcello last faced the Angels in July of last season, pitching five innings and allowing three runs (two earned), four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in a 3-0 Sox road loss.
Lincecum is 2-4 with an 8.70 ERA and a 2.300 WHIP in seven starts. After undergoing left hip surgery last September, Lincecum started the season as a free agent before being signed by the Angels in June. Lincecum previously spent nine seasons with the Giants, winning two National League Cy Young Awards and three World Series championships. This season, however, Lincecum has struggled to regain the velocity he once had. In the 32-year-old’s most recent start on Sunday, he lasted a mere 1 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on seven hits (three home runs) while walking two with no strikeouts in an 11-3 loss to the Astros. His fastball hovered at 86-87 mph, down from his season average of 89 mph.
“He just had a lot of trouble commanding his fastball and commanding counts,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Lincecum. “Those [Astros] guys got some good counts to hit in, and they didn’t miss things today.”
Lincecum called his performance “pathetic,” but said he’s willing to be patient as he tries to work back into form. How much more patient the Angels will be, however, remains to be seen.
“I’m confident in the process, that this is part of what I’m going through right now,” Lincecum said. “If it takes going through this, then it takes going through this. And if they have to make a decision that puts me in a different position, then I’ll be open to that. But at the same time, I’m definitely going to go after this as a starter and still keep grinding it out that way, and try to give my team a chance to win. I haven’t been doing that.”
In two career starts against the Red Sox, Lincecum is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA and a 2.625 WHIP. Lincecum last faced Boston in 2013 as a member of the Giants. In that outing, Lincecum lasted five innings, giving up five runs, nine hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
Red Sox vs. Lincecum (RHP)
Hanley Ramirez (29 plate appearances): .333 AVG./.379 OBP/.481 SLG, 1 double, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Aaron Hill (28): .500/.571/.682, 4 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Ryan Hanigan (10): .333/.400/.333, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Michael Martinez is 1-for-4 with 1 walk.
David Ortiz is 1-for-5 with 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout.
Dustin Pedroia is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.
Robbie Ross is 0-for-1.
Angels vs. Porcello (RHP)
Mike Trout (23 plate appearances): .286 AVG./.348 OBP/.429 SLG, 1 home run, 7 RBIs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Albert Pujols (19): .316/.316/.579, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 RBIs 1 strikeout
Yunel Escobar (13): .167/.231/.167, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Johnny Giavotella (13) .167/.231/.250, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Kole Calhoun (9): .625/.667/1.375, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Daniel Nava is 3-for-6 with 1 RBI, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.
Andrelton Simmons 1-for-5.
Carlos Perez is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.