Clay Buchholz

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

June 13, 2015 - 4:35 am
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In the second game of a three-game set from Fenway, the Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the bump against R.A. Dickey.

The Red Sox' starter on Opening Day, Buchholz has posted a 3-6 record to go along with a 4.07 ERA this season. The right-handed hasn't been the ace that some hoped he'€™d be, but he has pitched better than those numbers might suggest.

Buchholz sports a FIP of 2.92, and only allowed more than three earned runs in four of his 12 starts. Buchholz has pitched well enough to have a better record than he does, but the Sox offense often has lacked in providing run support for him. In seven of the 30-year-old'€™s starts, the Red Sox have scored just one run.

That being said, his last outing was not an ugly one. On Sunday against Oakland, he lasted just 4 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits and two walks. For once, Buchholz got bailed out by the Sox offense, as the Sox won 7-4 and Buchholz got away with a no-decision.

"Every game is big from here on out," Buchholz said June 2 after a recording a win. "Obviously we haven'€™t played up the caliber of players we have on this team. The bar is set pretty high for this club. There's nobody in this clubhouse that doesn't expect that. I don't think anybody would want it any other way."

With the exception of his most recent start, Buchholz has been very good over the past month. In his past six starts combined, he has thrown 41 2/3 innings and amassed a 2.59 ERA.

Opposite Buchholz is Dickey, who has been uninspiring so far this season. The knuckleballer has a 2-6 record and 5.35 ERA in his first 12 starts.

However, his past two starts have been more solid. Dickey's last start came Sunday against Houston, when he tossed 5 2/3 frames of two-run ball. Dickey ended up with a no-decision in a 7-6 walkoff victory for the Blue Jays.

Before that, Dickey took a loss to the Nationals on June 2 by a 2-0 score. He threw a solid six innings and allowed both Nationals runs, but got no help from the offense as his record fell to 2-6. If he can keep the momentum going from his past two starts, the Sox have their work cut out for them Saturday.

"R.A. was great, he really was," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the loss. "They had that one inning when they plated two and that was the difference. Both sides pitching was outstanding. We really couldn't mount anything against [Jordan] Zimmermann. In the seventh inning we had a shot but he's pretty good."

In 18 career appearances against the Red Sox (12 of them starts), Dickey has a 4.45 ERA across 91 innings of work.

Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Jose Bautista (61 plate appearances): .264 AVG/.328 OBP/.377 SLG, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 6 walks, 13 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (40): .188/.350/.375, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 8 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jose Reyes (30): .269/.367/.346, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts

Dione Navarro (18): .294/.333/.353, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk

Ryan Goins (17): .412/.412/.588, 1 triple, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Russell Martin (16): .313/.313/1.063, 4 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Danny Valencia (9): .125/.222/.125, 4 strikeouts

Josh Donaldson (8): .286/.375/.429, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk

Ezequiel Carrera is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and an RBI against Buchholz.

Kevin Pillar (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Chris Colabello (6): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Justin Smoak (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Red Sox vs. Dickey (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (35 plate appearances): .235 AVG/.257 OBP/.324 SLG, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (28): .296/.321/.519, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (26): .318/.423/.545, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

David Ortiz (26): .348/.423/.696, 2 HR, 2 doubles, 7 RBIs, 7 strikeouts

Pablo Sandoval (19): .263/.263/.579, 1 HR, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (17): .412/.412/.529, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (15): .286/.333/.500, 1 triple, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Brock Holt (10): .222/.300/.222, 2 strikeouts

Alejandro De Aza (8): .375/.375/.375, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Sandy Leon (4): .500/.500/.500

Rusney Castillo and Blake Swihart have not faced Dickey.

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