Rick Porcello

Monday's Red Sox-Athletics matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Scott Kazmir

May 11, 2015 - 6:25 am

Rick Porcello gets the start as the Red Sox continue their road trip with a visit to Oakland on Monday night. The A's will send out a pitcher who has become familiar with the Sox over the years, Scott Kazmir. After an inconsistent start to the season, Porcello has settled down over his last two outings. He has recorded two wins in a row with back-to-back seven-inning appearances against the Blue Jays and Rays. After struggling with home run balls in his first few starts, Porcello kept the ball in the park in each of those games. The 26-year-old also has been inducing more ground balls of late, as 50 percent of balls in play were on the ground in his last start, compared to times when he has struggled this year and that number dropped to 40  and 20 percent. In his last start, a seven-inning shutout of the Rays, Porcello allowed eight hits, all of them singles, while walking none and striking out six. "Seven strong innings. He scattered eight hits," manager John Farrell said after the game. "We turned an uncommon double play to get out of a potential jam. The biggest thing was he didn't walk anyone, and I thought after the fourth inning, those final three innings, he threw the ball down in the strike zone a little bit more consistently. But on a day where we needed a strong performance, he gave it to us." Porcello now leads Red Sox starters with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, and is second with a .250 batting average against. In 11 career outings against the A's, Porcello is 4-5 with a 3.73 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP, 26 strikeouts and 20 walks. He has made seven appearances at O.co Coliseum, going 1-for-4 with a 5.09 ERA, a 1.78 WHIP and five home runs allowed in 35 1/3 innings of work. Kazmir, who started his career with five full seasons and part of a sixth in Tampa Bay before having stints with the Angels and Indians, finds himself in Oakland for the second year. He has had a good start to 2015, and is 2-1 through six outings. Kazmir's 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and .199 batting average against are each good for third among Oakland pitchers. He has 40 strikeouts against 12 walks in 39 1/3 innings of work. He has gone at least six innings in each of his six starts, and has thrown at least seven innings three times. The 31-year old lefty has had trouble keeping the ball in play of late, giving up two home runs in each of his last two starts. Kazmir's most recent outing was his worst of the season, and it resulted in his only loss. Through six innings against the Twins, the former first-round pick allowed six runs on seven hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Prior to that start, Kazmir had not allowed more than three runs in any outing this year. In 27 career starts against the Red Sox, Kazmir is 9-8 with a 3.98 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP, 157 strikeouts and 80 walks. Boston hitters have tagged him for 17 home runs in 151 2/3 innings of work. Red Sox vs. Kazmir (LHP) David Ortiz (56 plate appearances): .208 AVG/.321 OBP/.354 SLG, 2 HRs, 1 double, 8 walks, 12 strikeouts Dustin Pedroia (48): .500/.596/.842, 2 HRs, 1 triple, 5 doubles, 5 RBIs, 9 walks, 3 strikeouts Mike Napoli (11): .100/.182/.100, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts Hanley Ramirez (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double, 1 RBI Brock Holt (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout Xander Bogaerts has one strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Kazmir. Daniel Nava has one walk and one strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Kazmir. Pablo Sandoval is 0-for-3 in three plate appearances vs. Kazmir. Mookie Betts, Allen Craig, Luis Jimenez, Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart have not faced Kazmir. Athletics vs. Porcello (RHP) Billy Butler (52): .347/.346/.490, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 9 RBIs, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts Coco Crisp (21): .300/.333/.350, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Josh Reddick (9): .333/.556/.833, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 1 strikeout Brett Lawrie (6): .167/.167/.167 Sam Fuld (5): .400/.400/.400 Josh Phegley (4): .250/.250/.250 Stephen Phegley, (3): .333/.333/.333 Marcus Semien has two strikeouts in four plate appearances vs. Porcello. Eric Sogard has one HBP in four plate appearances vs. Porcello. Ike Davis has one walk in three plate appearances vs. Porcello. Billy Burns, Mark Canha and Max Muncy have not faced Porcello.