Saturday's Red Sox-Angels matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Garrett Richards

August 09, 2014 - 7:11 am

The Red Sox resume their three-game series against the Angels in Anaheim Saturday night when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound to face Garrett Richards.

Buchholz (5-7, 6.20 ERA) continues to follow up one disastrous start with another. Last Sunday was another example of that. After giving up a season-high seven runs against the Blue Jays on July 28, Buchholz gave up another seven runs against the Yankees Sunday night. He was handed leads of 3-0 and 7-4 thanks to an offensive surge, but was burned by eight hits and five walks over five innings.

"I know you'€™€™re not supposed to look up at the board and look at numbers, but everybody sees it, so it'€™€™s a constant battle when you'€™€™re trying to throw up zeroes," Buchholz said after the game. "When it doesn'€™t happen it'€™€™s more frustrating, and that'€™€™s part of the game. That'€™€™s why the game is hard. Got to find a way to get through it."

Buchholz's biggest issue as of late has been his command. He's allowed 13 free passes in his last three starts, going 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in that span.

"There is a little bit of a tendency to be too fine that has caused him to fall behind in the count, and mechanically he may be running away from his arm a little bit where it'€™s causing some pitches to be missed up to the arm side, but still, it'€™s the overall pitch mix to each," manager John Farrell said.

Saturday will be Buchholz's first start against the Angels since June 8, 2013. The righty allowed two runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings in a 7-2 win at Fenway Park. He walked one, had four strikeouts and threw 104 pitches in what would be his final outing before a three-month trip to the disabled list. Buchholz is 6-3 with a 4.62 ERA in 10 career starts against the Angels. 

Richards (12-4, 2.58 ERA) has emerged as an unlikely ace for the Angels this season after spending most of his first three big league seasons in the bullpen. The 26-year-old leads LA in wins (12), strikeouts (152) and WHIP (1.02) this season and is a key reason why the Angels are seemingly in command of the top wild card spot.

Richards' latest start may have been his most impressive yet. The right-hander tossed a complete-game shutout against the Dodgers Monday night, holding them to five hits, two walks and striking out nine in a 5-0 Angels win. His 12 wins this season are more than he had in his first 84 games combined.

"That's faith in me, and that's important to me," Richards said after the game. "Going back out (for the ninth), I was just worried about winning the ballgame."

Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia: "He is driven. Garrett wants to be good. He has a lot of confidence in what he can do."

Saturday will be Richards' first career start against the Red Sox. His four appearances against the Sox all came out of the bullpen, posting an 8.44 ERA. His most recent appearance against the Sox came on July 6, 2013. He pitched two scoreless innings in an Angels' win over the Red Sox, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Red Sox vs. Richards (RHP)

Yoenis Cespedes (17 plate appearances): .313 AVG/.353 OBP/.625 SLG, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (7): .500/.571/1.000, 1 triple, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli (7): .800/.857/1.600, 1 HR, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Daniel Nava has one hit in two career plate appearances.

David Ortiz is hitless in two career plate appearances.

Brock Holt went hitless in his lone plate appearance.

Angels vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Erick Aybar (25 plate appearances): .120 AVG/.120 OBP/.120 SLG

Howie Kendrick (22): .333/.318/.571, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Josh Hamilton (18): .111/.111/.222, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 5 strikeouts

Mike Trout (10): .333/.400/.667, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

John McDonald (9): .111/.111/.222, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Albert Pujols (9): .500/.556/1.000, 1 HR, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Chris Iannetta (5): .600/.600/.600, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Hank Conger (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double