Allen Webster

Friday's Red Sox-Royals matchups: Allen Webster vs. Yordano Ventura

September 12, 2014 - 4:20 am
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The Red Sox will play the second game of their road series against the Royals on Friday night, as Allen Webster will make the start against Kansas City'€™s Yordano Ventura. Webster (3-3. 6.47 ERA), who has battled inconsistency this season, is looking to get some positive outings before the season concludes. After a four-inning start in which he gave up six earned runs against the Rays on Aug. 30, he settled down in his next appearance against the Blue Jays last Friday. The right-hander struck out five and surrendered just three runs in 5 1/3 innings, though he did not factor into the decision. Webster pitched well in the middle innings after a rough first frame when he gave up three hits. However, he gave up a two-run home run to slugger Jose Bautista, ending his night. Webster said he made a mistake in locating his fastball when he gave up the homer. "€œIf I had located my fastball instead of leaking it middle up where he just missed it the pitch before -- he's not going to miss that pitch twice,"€ Webster said. '€œYeah, he's a good hitter." Vying for a spot in the 2015 rotation, Webster has not pitched more than 6 2/3 innings in a start this season in the major leagues. His sub-four ERA with Triple-A Pawtucket hasn't translated to the Red Sox just yet, as he has a 7.39 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 16 career major league outings. Though he hasn't faced an American League Central team this season, Webster'€™s first-ever start came against the Royals during April 2013. In that appearance, Webster scattered three runs and five hits over six innings. He did serve up two home runs, however, including one to Alex Gordon on the first pitch of the game. "I felt comfortable from, well, not the first pitch, but once I got through that first inning, things started getting smooth for me,"€ Webster said after the game. The 23-year-old Ventura (12-9, 3.25 ERA) is one of the reasons the Royals are closing in on their first playoff appearance in 29 years. He'€™s had eight consecutive starts where he'€™s pitched at least six innings. Against the Yankees last Sunday, he earned the win after pitching six scoreless frames at Yankee Stadium. But walks have been an issue for Ventura, and he allowed four against the Yankees. Royals manager Ned Yost said he liked the way his rookie pitcher battled through some command problems. "He pitched around [the walks] effectively, got back his mechanics, commanded it downhill with his fastball," Yost said. "[He] really stayed within himself with his changeup and his curveball, and I thought he just did a fantastic job." The last time Ventura didn't get past the fifth inning was against the Red Sox back on July 20. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings that day, allowing nine hits, six runs and four walks. Command also was an issue in that one for Ventura, as only 58 percent of his pitches were strikes. Daniel Nava had the biggest game against the right-hander with three RBIs. No one on the Red Sox has more than three plate appearances against Ventura. Red Sox vs. Ventura (RHP) Allen Craig (3 career plate appearances): .333avergae/.333OBP/.333 SLG Brock Holt (3): .667/.667/.667 Daniel Nava (3): 1.000/.667/1.500, 1 double, 3 RBIs David Ortiz (3): .000/.000/.000 David Ross (3): .500/.667/2.000, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk Jackie Bradley is 2-for-2 against Ventura in two plate appearances. Royals vs. Webster (RHP) Billy Butler (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 strikeout, 1 walk Lorenzo Cain (3): .000/.333/.000 Alcides Escobar (3): .667/.667/.667 Alex Gordon (3): .667/.667/2.000, 1 home run, 1 double, 1 RBI Eric Hosmer (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Mike Moustakas (3): .000/.000/.000 Raul Ibanez, Omar Infante and Josh Willingham all have two plate appearances against Webster, with only Willingham reach base via a walk.