In the second game of this battle for the top of the AL East, the Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz out to the mound Saturday while the Orioles opt for Chris Tillman.
Buchholz got the ball in the first game of the season and put together a scoreless seven innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits and one walk. His second start didn’t go as well, to say the least. The lanky righty started the final game the Sox’ series with the Yankees last weekend and only lasted 3 1/3 innings. He gave up nine runs, seven of which came in the first inning, and allowed nine hits and two walks, striking out three.
With the result, Buchholz has a 7.84 ERA through his two outings, but he said he’s “not going to let one start affect the way [he feels] about the year that [the Sox] are going to have or how [he feels].”
“He came out and tried to use all his pitches from the get-go, and at times looked to pitch a little too fine,” manager John Farrell added after Buchholz’s outing. “The walks along with some balls that were well placed. They squared a couple pitches up, and before you know it, it’s a seven-run inning. I know he warmed up sharp. I know he warmed up with all his pitches being executed. It was a different story once he got to the mound.”
Buchholz has 100 1/3 innings of experience against the Orioles, registering 16 starts against them with a 9-4 record. He has a 3.86 ERA when facing the O’s and has pitched three complete games against them as well, more than any other individual team he’s seen.
In his six previous seasons in the MLB, Tillman has just as many starts against the Sox as Buchholz has against Baltimore, though he’s pitched 10 fewer innings and has recorded a 7-3 mark in that time. His 2.69 ERA against Boston is his sixth best in terms of specific opponent splits.
However, he is currently toting a season ERA of 7.71 as he was guilty of posting similar starts to Buchholz in his first two campaigns. Against the Rays on April 6, Tillman managed 6 2/3 innings of four-hit, one-run ball with four strikeouts and three walks. His next start, however, went just about as well as Buchholz’s. In 2 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays, Tillman surrendered seven runs on as many hits and gave up three walks to just one strikeout.
Orioles vs. Buchholz (RHP)
Adam Jones (36 plate appearances): .207 AVG/.257 OBP/.517 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 11 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Travis Snider (18): .059/.111/.059, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
Alejandro De Aza (14): .308/.357/.385, 1 double, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Ryan Flaherty (13): .250/.308/.250, 3 strikeouts
Delmon Young (9): .111/.111/.111, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Manny Machado (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk
Jonathan Schoop (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 RBI
Steve Pearce (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Steve Clevenger (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI
Red Sox vs. Tillman (RHP)
Dustin Pedroia (39 plate appearances): .286 AVG/.333 OBP/.343 SLG, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Daniel Nava (36): .258/.361/.387, 4 doubles, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
David Ortiz (32): .111/.250/.222, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (26): .273/.385/.364, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (16): .143/.250/.357, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Shane Victorino (12): .364/.417/.636, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Mookie Betts (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Ryan Hanigan (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk
Brock Holt (5): .600/.600/.600, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Pablo Sandoval (4): .333/.500/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk
Allen Craig (3): .333/.333/.333