Friday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Drew Smyly

June 06, 2014 - 4:49 am

The Red Sox will kick off a three-game set against the AL-Central leading Tigers on Friday night, as Rubby De La Rosa will take the mound for Boston in the series opener, facing off against Drew Smyly. De La Rosa (1-0, 0.00 ERA) was dominant in his first career start with Boston on Saturday, holding the Rays to four hits and no runs over seven innings of work. It was De La Rosa'€™s first MLB start since July 31, 2011. "He was great," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said after the game. "Obviously, you saw the results, but you're talking about a guy who can throw 98, 99 [mph], and throw the changeup he was throwing along with the slider. And he was throwing it over the plate. He threw three pitches for strikes at any time. And the way his ball moves and the way he's able to do that, heck, he could be real successful if he can throw it over the plate like that every time." Acquired from the Dodgers as part of the August 2012 deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to Los Angeles, De La Rosa has spent the majority of the 2014 season with Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a 2-3 record with a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts. De La Rosa has only faced Detroit once in his career  -- as the Dominican pitched a scoreless inning of relief against the Tigers on Sept. 4, 2013. Smyly (2-4, 4.10 ERA) labored in his last start on May 31 against the Mariners, as the southpaw allowed three runs and threw 105 pitches in just four innings of work in what eventually resulted in a 3-2 loss for Detroit. "I think most of the time I put myself in pretty good counts," Smyly said after the game. "I threw some bad breaking balls, but they took, I thought, good breaking balls. Usually you get swings, and they were spitting on it. That would put them back in hitters' counts and they would get foul ball, foul ball. Just not an efficient outing." While Smyly only walked one batter in his appearance, nine of the 20 batters that he faced brought their at-bat to a full count, which contributed majorly to Smyly'€™s brief appearance on the mound. Smyly became the first Detroit pitcher since Edwin Jackson on July 31, 2009, to throw at least 105 pitches over four innings while only issuing one walk or less. Smyly'€™s last appearance against Boston was on June 23, 2013, as the lefty allowed three hits and no runs over 2 2/3 innings of work out of the bullpen. In three appearances (one start) against Boston, Smyly is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA. Red Sox vs. Smyly (LHP) A.J. Pierzynski (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 singles, 1 strikeout David Ortiz (4): .750/.750/1.500, 1home run, 2 RBIs Daniel Nava (3): .333/.333/.667, 1double Jonny Gomes (2): .000/.000/.000 Dustin Pedroia has one single and one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Smyly. Stephen Drew (1): .000/.000/.000 Tigers vs. De La Rosa (RHP) Bryan Holaday (1): 1.000/.1.000/1.000, 1 single