Henry Owens

Friday’s Red Sox-Royals matchups: Henry Owens vs. Johnny Cueto

August 21, 2015 - 4:15 am

Following Thursday night's victory over the Royals, the Red Sox will look to win their fourth game in a row when they send Henry Owens out to pitch in the second game of the series against Johnny Cueto. Owens last took the mound on Sunday, tossing six innings and allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits. Though he gave up three home runs, the rookie struck out 10, bringing his total for the year up to 17 through 16 innings of work. Owens struggled in the beginning of his outing and gave up all seven of the runs he was responsible for within the first three innings of his start. After that, he hunkered down and gave the Sox three scoreless frames, during which they were able to begin their comeback, though they ultimately lost in 10-8 in 12 innings. "I honestly feel like giving up seven runs in the first three innings, it would've been easy for a young pitcher to collapse," acting manager Torey Lovullo said. "But he composed himself. He wanted to go back out there for the sixth inning and executed a good game plan. For a young pitcher to do that, for a young pitcher to go back out there and complete that sixth inning as easily as he did says a lot about Henry Owens." The 23-year-old has only faced three teams in his very young career and none of them have been the Royals, though he held their division rival Tigers to one earned run and three hits over five innings on Aug. 9. That performance, plus his first outing that lasted five frames with three earned runs on five hits with as many strikeouts, give him a 1-1 record this season and a 6.19 ERA. Cueto certainly is more experienced than Owens, having been in the big leagues since 2008. He began his career with the Reds, and it wasn't until July 26 of this year that he wasn't a part of their organization any longer. On that day, he was traded to the Royals for three young left-handed pitchers. With Cincinnati, the righty had a 7-6 record through 19 starts with a 2.62 ERA, posting a .196 opponent batting average and a WHIP of 0.93. Since arriving in Kansas City he's gone 2-1 in four outings, holding a 1.80 ERA. He's totaled a 9-7 mark on the season with a 2.46 ERA. In his latest start, Cueto hurled eight innings Saturday and conceded just one earned run on eight hits with a walk, home run and four strikeouts. It was his eighth outing of 23 on the year lasting at least eight innings and his 16th that was at least seven innings long. As a member of the Royals, Cueto has turned in quality starts in each of his opportunities to do so. "I feel really good on this ball club," Cueto said through interpreter Pedro Grifol on Saturday. "Every time I go out there, I feel I have a chance to win because the offense gives me runs and gives me that boost." However, Cueto has never seen the Red Sox before. Of the 27 teams he has pitched against, Boston has never been on the receiving end. He has, however, taken on three of the other four teams in the division, missing just the Orioles. In 58 2/3 innings vs. other AL East opponents, Cueto has given up 20 earned runs for a 3.07 ERA and a 4-2 record. Royals vs. Owens (LHP) No current members of the Royals have faced Owens. Red Sox vs. Cueto (RHP) Pablo Sandoval (12 plate appearances): .250 AVG/.250 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI Hanley Ramirez (10): .250/.400/.375, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Josh Rutledge (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000 Brock Holt (1): .000/.000/.000