Monday's Red Sox-Rays matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Jeremy Hellickson

April 15, 2013 - 2:27 am
Ryan Dempster will have his second chance to win in front of a Fenway crowd on Monday, taking the mound at 11:05 a.m. in an early Patriots Day start against Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays Dempster's 0-1 record in his first two starts belies the fact that he hasn't pitched badly, striking out 15 and giving up four runs in his first 10 innings of work. Although the game was tied 3-3 when he left his last start, Wednesday against Baltimore, two of those runs were unearned. He's only gone five innings in each start -- throwing 101 pitches in the first and 93 in the second -- so efficiency will be something Dempster will look to improve against the Rays. Dempster has faced the Rays eight times, with a 4.24 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 51 innings in his 16-year career. He hasn't seen them since 2008, when he faced them in interleague play with the Cubs. Dempster is more familiar with those Rays who have spent some time in the National League -- Kelly Johnson and James Loney have seen him the most. Aside from Jamey Wright, who has two doubles in five plate appearances, none have fared particularly well against him. Hellickson had a rough day last Monday, his 26th birthday, when he made his last start. He lasted five innings against the Rangers, allowing two home runs, three walks and three runs with only one strikeout. The Rays' No. 2 starter also struggled in his first outing of 2013, giving up five runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Orioles with a walk and two strikeouts. The Rays are hoping he settles down to look more like the 2012 version of himself, with a 3.10 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. The Sox haven't been particularly kind to Hellickson. In nine career starts against them, he has a 4.47 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. When he last faced them, in Tampa on Sept. 18, 2012, he lasted just four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks, although he also struck out seven. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has hit Hellickson hard, with a home run, two doubles and a .556 slugging percentage in 21 PAs. Rays vs. Dempster (RHP) Kelly Johnson (17 plate appearances): .091/.412/.182, 1 double, 1 RBI, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts James Loney (16): .125/.125/.125, 2 singles Yunel Escobar (9): .111/.111/.111, 2 strikeouts Jamey Wright (5): .400/.400/.800, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts Evan Longoria has not reached base in two PAs against Dempster. Ryan Roberts walked the only time he faced him. Shelley Duncan, Sam Fuld, Desmond Jennings, Matthew Joyce, Jose Lobaton, Jose Molina, Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist have never faced Dempster. Red Sox vs. Hellickson (RHP) Dustin Pedroia (24): .227/.292/.455, 1 HR, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21): .278/.381/.556, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts Jacoby Ellsbury (18): .176/.222/.176, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Will Middlebrooks (9): .111/.111/.111, 6 strikeouts Daniel Nava (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Mike Carp (7): .286/.286/.286, 2 singles Pedro Ciraco (6): .667/.667/.667, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout Stephen Drew (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single Jonny Gomes (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 HR Mike Napoli (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout Jackie Bradley and David Ross have never faced Hellickson.