Friday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Jon Lester vs. Max Scherzer

May 16, 2014 - 4:22 am
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After a six-game road trip, the Red Sox will return home to Fenway Park to take on the Tigers in a rematch of the 2013 American League Championship Series. Jon Lester will take the mound for Boston in the opening game, facing off against the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer. This will serve as the first meeting of the year between the two clubs. Last season, the Tigers posted a 4-3 record against the Red Sox in the regular season before falling in the ALCS in six games. Lester (4-4, 2.75 ERA) continued his recent stretch of dominance in his last start on May 10 against the Rangers, allowing three runs over seven innings while punching out eight batters. "I got away with a lot of pitches, we were able to keep them off balance just enough to get some foul balls and some bad contact,"€ Lester said after the game. "€œDefinitively a grind tonight." Lester has elevated his game to another level as the season has progressed, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.80 ERA and 0.67 WHIP in the month of May. The southpaw has pitched at least seven innings in six of his eight starts while his 66 strikeouts rank second in the American League -- tying him with Scherzer. In his last start against the Tigers in Game 5 of the ALCS, Lester earned the win, holding the potent Tigers lineup to just two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. In seven regular-season starts against Detroit, Lester is 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA. The Tigers own the best record in the American League with a 24-12 record, and Scherzer (5-1, 2.04 ERA) has played a big part in the team'€™s string of success this season by posting the best ERA in the AL. In his last start against Boston, Scherzer was the tough-luck loser in the series-clinching Game 6, allowing three runs over 6 1/3 innings. Scherzer had only allowed one earned run before being pulled in the seventh inning with two runners on base. Both runners would eventually score on Shane Victorino'€™s clutch go-ahead grand slam later in the inning, handing Scherzer the loss. Scherzer has struggled in his career against Boston, compiling a 2-4 record with a 7.02 ERA in eight regular-season starts. Tigers vs. Lester (LHP) Rajai Davis (40 plate appearances): .306/.375/.556, 2 doubles, 2 triples Ian Kinsler (29): .231/.310/.462, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs Miguel Cabrera (24): .526/.625/.789, 1 home run, 5 walks Torii Hunter (23): .478/.478/.609, 3 doubles, 3 strikeouts Austin Jackson (15): .286/.333/.357, 1 double, 2 strikeouts Victor Martinez (15): .462/.533/.846, 1 home run, 3 RBIs Alex Avila (6): .500/.500/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI Danny Worth (6): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 1 walk Red Sox vs. Scherzer (RHP)  A.J. Pierzynski (34): .333/.324/.515, 1 home run, 7 RBIs David Ortiz (18): .467/.556/1.133, 3 home runs, 6 RBIs Dustin Pedroia (17): .235/.235/.588, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs Grady Sizemore (10): .125/.300/.125, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Shane Victorino (10): .200/.200/.300, 1 double, 3 strikeouts Mike Carp (9): .250/.333/.250, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Mike Napoli (9): .111/.111/.111, 1 single, 3 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 singles, 2 strikeouts Will Middlebrooks (6): .167/.167/.167, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts David Ross (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 strikeout

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