Saturday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Brandon Morrow

April 26, 2014 - 5:46 am

The Red Sox will head into the middle game of their three-game series with the Blue Jays on Saturday as they send the struggling Clay Buchholz to the mound against Brandon Morrow. In four appearances this season, Buchholz has gone 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.93. Buchholz earned run average is the highest of any of the Red Sox starting pitchers and he is tied with fellow starting pitcher Felix Doubront for the most earned runs allowed so far this season with 16. Buchholz'€™s most recent outing sparked concern that the righty, who had dealt with both back and shoulder issues during the previous three seasons, may be once again dealing with injury. Buchholz lasted a mere 2 1/3 innings in his Marathon Monday start as he gave up six earned runs on seven hits and one walk. All six of those runs came during the third inning. Despite an attempted comeback in the second half of the game, the Red Sox ultimately lost the contest 7-6. After the loss, the Red Sox and Buchholz said the pitcher was dealing with arm strength issues not health issues. "It feels like it'€™s getting better," Buchholz said of his arm strength. "I feel like later, well there wasn'€™t really late in the game today, but later in the past two games, if I wanted to reach back , there were 92s and 93s there. That usually comes pretty easy. I'€™m struggling with that a little bit right now. But that'€™ll come together. "It'€™s hard to go out there and be confident whenever you'€™re getting hit around. That'€™s sort of where I'€™m at right now. It'€™s still pretty early. We still have a lot of time left in this first half to pull it all together and go from there." Buchholz has historically pitched well against the Blue Jays as he holds an overall record of 9-5 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over 18 appearances. In his most recent outing against Toronto on Sept. 21, 2013, Buchholz earned his first loss of the season after he gave up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits over six innings. So far during the 2014 season, Morrow has struggled with working into a high pitch count early in games. The right-hander holds a 1-1 record with a 5.03 ERA after he gave up two earned runs on three hits over five innings in a game against the Indians on April 20. Morrow ultimately earned a no-decision in what became a 6-4 loss. While Morrow has made 17 appearances against the Red Sox, he has only started in nine games. Over the course of his career, Morrow has faltered against Boston, earning a 1-3 record with a 7.99 ERA and a WHIP of 1.80. Morrow particularly struggled during the 2010 and 2011 seasons when he held a 15.88 and a 12.32 ERA in each season, respectively. In his lone appearance against Boston in 2013, Morrow earned a no-decision after he gave up three earned runs on six hits over five innings. Morrow missed the majority of the 2013 season with a nerve injury in his forearm. Red Sox vs. Morrow (RHP) Dustin Pedroia (27 plate appearances): .522 AVG/.556 OBP/.957 SLG, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts David Ortiz (21): .412/.524/1.000, 1 double, 3 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts Mike Napoli (17): .125/.176/.125, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts A.J. Pierzynski (15): .357/.333/.357, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeouts Grady Sizemore (14): .500/.571/1.000, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts Mike Carp (10): .300/.300/.600, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI Jonathan Herrera is hitless in three plate appearances vs. Morrow. Will Middlebrooks has one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Morrow. Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP) Jose Bautista (36): .290/.361/.387, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts Edwin Encarnacion (26): .048/.231/.048, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts Brett Lawrie (21): .105/.150/.105, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Melky Cabrera (16): .214/.313/.214, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Colby Rasmus (14): .200/.385/.200, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Jose Reyes (9): .375/.444/.625, 1 triple, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Moises Sierra (6); .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts Dioner Navarro (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts Ryan Goins (2): .500/.500/.500