Clay Buchholz

Saturday's Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. J.A. Happ

September 06, 2014 - 4:27 am

The Red Sox will play the Blue Jays in the second game of their three-game series Saturday night, sending out pitcher Clay Buchholz to oppose J.A. Happ. This comes after the Red Sox won a thrilling, walkoff win Friday night. After his ERA eclipsed the six mark in early August, Buchholz (6-8. 5.40 ERA) has pitched well over the last month. He'€™s thrown at least six innings in each of his last five outings, including a complete game last time out against the Rays on Sunday. Buchholz kept the Rays off balance all game long, striking out six and scattering three hits. Catcher Christian Vazquez credited Buchholz'€™s pinpoint location throughout the contest. "€œHe was hitting all the spots, every pitch," Vazquez said of Buchholz. "He was painting every pitch. He was pitching to his best, and it was easy for me." The Blue Jays saw the resurgent Buchholz firsthand when they faced him on Aug. 25. The right-hander was nearly as good that outing with 8 1/3 innings of three-run ball, however he did not factor into the decision because he gave up the lead in the last half of the ninth inning. Buchholz said he was disappointed by letting the lead slip away but was happy the Red Sox came away with the victory in extra innings. "The most important part is winning ball games, regardless of individual stats or whatever," Buchholz said. "You definitely don't want to go out there and give it up in the ninth, but the team was able to fight back." This will be the sixth time this season that Buchholz will duel against the Blue Jays. After winning his first start against Toronto in April, he dropped three consecutive decisions against the Blue Jays between May and July. In the three losses, he was charged with at least four runs each time out. One batter Buchholz might want to be especially careful with is Adam Lind, who has 17 hits in 49 at-bats against Buchholz, including two home runs and three doubles. Shortstop Jose Reyes has a .304 batting average against Buchholz in 23 at-bats. Happ (9-8, 4.37 ERA) pitched well against the Yankees in his previous start. His seven innings of work, including six strikeouts, earned him the win Sunday in Toronto. The lefty struck out eight and allowed three runs over six innings when he matched up against Buchholz on Aug. 25. Previously, Happ had beaten the Red Sox in his two previous starts this season. During a July 22 game in Toronto, Happ kept the Red Sox off the board for six innings in his winning effort. Outfielder Allen Craig has not been as good as advertised since joining the Red Sox, but he does have success against Happ in his career. He has a .426 batting average, two home runs and six RBIs in 13 career plate appearances. Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli each have a .333 batting average against Happ. Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP) Jose Bautista (53): .277/.340.383, 12 strikeouts, 4 walks, 4 RBIs, 1 home run, 2 doubles Adam Lind (52): .347/.365/.571, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 1 triple, 3 doubles Melky Cabrera (34): .226/.294/.323, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts Edwin Encarnacion (32): .115/.281/.346, 3 strikeouts, 6 walks, 3 RBIs, 2 home runs Jose Reyes (27): .304/.407/.391, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 triple Colby Rasmus (26): .143/.280/.143, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts Munenori Kawasaki (17): .200/.250/.200, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk Anthony Gose (16): .250/.438/.250, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk Dioner Navarro (15): .286/.333/.286, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Ryan Goins (11): .545/.545/.818, 1 double, 1 triple, 4 RBIs Juan Francisco (9): .000/.333/.000, 3 walks, 1 strikeout Josh Thole (6): .667/.800/1.000, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 double Danny Valencia (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 strikeout Dan Johnson (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Red Sox vs. Happ (LHP) Dustin Pedroia (16 career plate appearances): .333 average/.375 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Allen Craig (13): .462/.462/1.000, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 3 strikeouts, 1 double Mike Napoli (13): .333/.385/.417, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, 3 RBIs, 1 double Yoenis Cespedes (11): .200/.273/.200, 4 strikeouts, 3 RBIs, 1 walk David Ortiz (9): .143/.333/.286, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 1 RBI, 1 double Brock Holt (8): .143/.250/.286, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 double David Ross (8): .286/.375/.429, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Will Middlebrooks (6): .000/.167/.000, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk Daniel Nava (5): .250/.400/.250, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk Xander Bogaerts (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez each have one hit in two career plate appearances against Happ, and Jemile Weeks is 0-for-1 against the lefty.