Clay Buchholz

Monday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. R.A. Dickey

June 29, 2015 - 4:18 am

In the first game of their series at Rogers Centre, the Red Sox send Clay Buchholz to the mound to face knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Buccholz's last start came Wednesday night when the Orioles were at Fenway Park. He tossed seven innings and gave up just one earned run on eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The outing was his third straight lasting six or more innings and his second consecutive one allowing fewer than two earned runs. "[I] was able to throw some changeups in some big spots and was able to use the cutter on both sides of the plate," Buchholz said Wednesday. "They hit some balls pretty hard right at some guys and defense made the plays on them, so that always helps, too." Over his last nine starts, Buchholz has a 2.48 ERA in 61 2/3 innings, holding opponents to a .246/.291/.336 slash line. Of those nine outings, the righty has only surrendered more than three earned runs twice, when he conceded four in consecutive starts on June 7 and June 13. Buchholz's recent success has helped improve his season record to 5-6 and his ERA to 3.68. The Blue Jays are one team that Buchholz is very familiar with, especially on the road in Toronto. With 26 career starts against the Jays, and 27 total appearances, Buchholz has been on the hill at the Rogers Centre 14 times. Overall, he has a 3.51 ERA and a 12-9 record through 166 2/3 innings vs. the Blue Jays, and that improves to a 2.30 ERA with a 9-3 mark over 94 innings in Toronto. Opposing Jays batters slash .233/.309/.320 against Buchholz, and he manages an even more impressive .208/.286/.270 when away from home. Out of teams that he's made at least six starts against, Buchholz's 1.138 WHIP at Toronto's field is his second best. Only his 0.952 mark at Tropicana Field is better. In three starts vs. the Jays this season, Buchholz is 1-1 with a 6.60 ERA, though two of those outings were at home. In his one start at the Rogers Centre, he pitched 6 1/3 innings while giving up just three earned runs with as many walks and strikeouts. At Fenway, he pitched 2 2/3 innings on April 28 and 4 2/3 innings on June 13 against Toronto, allowing four earned runs in each abbreviated start. Dickey doesn't have nearly as many appearances vs. the Red Sox, but he still has a fair amount. In 13 starts and 19 total appearances, the right-hander has a 4.45 ERA over the course of 97 innings, a 1.289 WHIP and a 6-5 record. The Sox slash .267/.317/.445 against Dickey, and of the 102 hits he's conceded, 37 have gone for extra bases. Boston has knocked 15 balls out of the park with Dickey on the mound, and only the Tigers have more homers against him with 16. This year alone, the Sox have four off of him. Toronto's No. 2 man has had a bit of an up and down season, posting a 3-7 record and a 4.88 ERA in 15 starts. However, in his past five starts, he has not allowed more than three earned runs. In the 10 prior, he gave up four or more earned runs seven times. In addition, Dickey's father passed away June 16 after a sudden heart attack. Dickey was placed on the bereavement list June 19 after his start the day before against the Mets. He rejoined the Blue Jays on June 22 and pitched on Tuesday in Tampa Bay, going seven innings and conceding three earned runs as his team lost 4-3. "I was kind of foggy today," Dickey said Tuesday. "It has been a tough week so I haven't gotten to prepare the way that I normally do, but I was able to repeat my mechanics enough. "I felt good out there, my velocities were still good, my release point was still good," he added. "Thankfully I have enough muscle memory built in there where I can afford to have a week like that and still be OK. It wasn't much of an issue." Dickey also spoke to the encouragement he got from his teammates and the Blue Jays organization following his father's death. "The support I received from those guys, some of the classiest moves I've ever been associated with in baseball," he said. "It made me feel really good to have guys stand up behind me and carry me a little ways." Red Sox vs. Dickey (RHP) Hanley Ramirez (31 plate appearances): .300 AVG/.323 OBP/.500 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts David Ortiz (29): .360/.448/.800, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts Mike Napoli (26): .318/.423/.545, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts Pablo Sandoval (22): .318/.318/.636, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Xander Bogaerts (20): .400/.400/.500, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts Jackie Bradley Jr. (17): .125/.176/.313, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts Mookie Betts (15): .286/.333/.500, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Brock Holt (13): .167/.231/.167, 4 strikeouts Alejandro De Aza (11): .364/.364/.455, 1 double, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout Sandy Leon (6): .333/.333/.333 Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP) Jose Bautista (64 plate appearances): .255 AVG/.328 OBP/.364 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 7 walks, 13 strikeouts Edwin Encarnacion (43): .200/.349/.371, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 8 walks, 5 strikeouts Jose Reyes (33): .276/.364/.345, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts Ryan Goins (19): .474/.474/.632, 1 double, 1 triple, 6 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Russell Martin (19): .316/.316/.947, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Dioner Navarro (18): .294/.333/.353, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts Josh Donaldson (11): .200/.273/.300, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Kevin Pillar (10): .333/.400/.333, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Chris Colabello (9): .444/.444/.444, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout Danny Valencia (9): .125/.222/.125, 4 strikeouts Ezequiel Carrerra (7): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts Justin Smoak (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts Devon Travis (5): .500/.600/.750, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk