Rick Porcello

Monday’s Red Sox-Braves matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Williams Perez

June 15, 2015 - 4:24 am
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Looking to end a six-game losing streak, the Red Sox open up a four-game, home-and-home series against the Braves by sending Rick Porcello to the mound to pitch opposite Williams Perez. Porcello, who owns a 4-6 record and 5.26 ERA, has had a roller coaster of a season. Most recently, the right-hander allowed five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings Wednesday in Baltimore, giving up 10 hits and striking out five. Before that, on June 3, Porcello conceded just two earned runs over eight innings on five hits and as many K's. The two starts prior to that both resulted in six-plus earned runs. Of his 12 starts this season, Porcello has allowed more than three earned runs in five of them, and three of those outings were with Baltimore in the batter's box. "I am not looking at the numbers right now," he said after his outing in Baltimore in regard to his struggles vs. the O's. "I'm looking at going out there and making the adjustments that I have to do to help us win games. The numbers, they are what they are. I just have to keep working hard and pushing forward." Two years have passed since Porcello's first and only start against the Braves. In a 6 1/3-inning effort, he granted Atlanta three earned runs on five hits and two walks, enough to nab the win for his team. Porcello also managed to fan five in the start and held Braves batters to a .217/.280/.217 slash line with no extra-base hits. Monday will be the first time Perez pitches against the Red Sox, adding another first to his week. The righty is a member of Atlanta's rotation, but his most recent appearance was in relief. As the Braves took the second game of their series with the Mets on Saturday, Perez earned his first career save, coming into the contest in the 11th inning to hold down a 5-3 Atlanta lead. Closer Jason Grilli had pitched during the 10th inning while two other relievers in Brandon Cunniff and David Aardsma weren't available because they had been utilized so much recently. "[Perez's] side [session] would have been [Friday] or [Saturday]," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We held him back on purpose because we were a little short. The plan was for him to be used in an emergency, and [Saturday] was an emergency. "We didn't know how [Perez] was going to react, but we had no other option but to go to him and he did a nice job," Gonzalez added. His most recent start had come days earlier on Wednesday when Perez and company hosted the Padres for a four-game series. The 24-year-old tossed seven shutout innings and gave up just four hits, walking two and striking out five in that time. Perez, who began the season as a bullpen arm, was converted to starter on May 20 when he faced the Rays and went five innings while surrendering just one earned run on six hits. He has a 2-0 record on the year with a 2.70 ERA, though as a starter his ERA is 1.80 through 30 innings compared to his relief average of 10.80 in 3 1/3. Overall, opponents are batting .248/.345/.320 against him, and he's only allowed more than one earned run in two of eight total appearances on the year, only one of which was a start. Braves vs. Porcello (RHP) Nick Markakis (28 plate appearances): .375 AVG/.429 OBP/.542 SLG, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout A.J. Pierzynski (26): .200/.231/.320, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Kelly Johnson (9): .286/.444/.286, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Freddie Freeman (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI Andrelton Simmons (3): .333/.333/.333 Juan Uribe (3): .333/.333/.333 Chris Johnson has a strikeout in three plate appearances against Porcello, while former Red Sox Pedro Ciriaco has one whiff in two plate appearances. Red Sox vs. Perez (RHP) No Red Sox batters have faced Perez.

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