Steven Wright

Saturday's Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Steven Wright vs. Alfredo Simon

July 25, 2015 - 4:30 am
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After snapping their eight-game losing streak with Friday's 2-1 win in 11 innings, the Red Sox will trot Steven Wright to the hill Saturday to take on Alfredo Simon and the Tigers.

Wright enters the day with a 3-3 record and 4.84 ERA on the season. The knuckleballer has a 5.42 FIP and 1.303 WHIP.

Wright has had a roller coaster of a season, making multiple trips to and from Triple-A Pawtucket and pitching as both a starter and reliever for the big league Red Sox. He has made 12 appearances in the majors this season and started five of them.

Due to the elbow injury of Clay Buchholz and the struggles of other pitchers like Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly, the Red Sox rotation has become muddled and disorganized. That has created an opportunity for Wright to rejoin the Sox as a starter.

After being sent to Pawtucket in late June, Wright was called back up to start against the Angels in the second game of Monday's doubleheader against the Angels. His reintroduction to major league hitters was not a great one.

Wright lasted five innings and allowed six runs on six hits and three walks. He gave up a pair of homers to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and the Sox ended up taking a 7-3 loss.

"I felt like I was maybe I was overthrowing (the knuckleball) just a little bit, but it was definitely moving more than it has in a while," Wright said after the loss. "So it definitely gets frustrating, because when you can't throw it for strikes, it does limit your options."

In this his first season with the Tigers, Simon has a record of 8-6 through 18 starts. He has an ERA of 4.63 to go with a 4.02 FIP. His WHIP is an unseemly 1.476, as he allows 10.1 hits per nine innings.

A year ago, Simon was an All-Star with the Reds, posting a 3.44 ERA and 15-10 record before being traded to Detroit. He, like many others in the Reds rotation (including current trade rumor subject Johnny Cueto), becomes a free agent after the 2015 season and thus motivated Cincinnati move him this offseason.

Simon's season has been very inconsistent. Through his first 12 starts, he had posted a 2.58 ERA and a 7-3 record. Opponents hit just .231 against him.

In the following six outings, the 34-year-old has a combined 10.16 ERA, with opponents hitting for an astronomical .390 batting average and 1.102 OPS.

In his last start Monday, Simon pitched to a no-decision against the Mariners. The right-hander threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. With the help of the bullpen (3 1/3 scoreless frames) and two Ian Kinsler homers, the Tigers were able to claim a 5-4 victory.

While this was not a remarkable start by any means, it was a marked step forward from the previous outing in which Simon pitched just 2 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits to the Twins.

"It was a better outing, overall," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after Simon's start against Seattle. "But I think he can be sharper, like he was earlier in the season."

Red Sox vs. Simon (RHP)

David Ortiz (9 plate appearances): .167 AVG/.444 OBP/.167 SLG, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (8): .333/.500/.833, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Pablo Sandoval (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Hanigan (3): .000/.000/.000

Hanley Ramirez (3): .333/.333/.333

Brock Holt is 1-for-1 with a double against Simon.

Mike Napoli is 0-for-1 against Simon.

Daniel Nava is 0-for-1 with a strikeout against Simon.

No other Red Sox have faced Simon.

Tigers vs. Wright (RHP)

Marc Krauss (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 walk

Anthony Gose (2): .000/.000/.000

No other Tigers have faced Wright.

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