Henry Owens

Sunday's Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Henry Owens vs. Vidal Nuno

August 16, 2015 - 4:10 am

After scoring 37 runs in two days, the Red Sox will look to close out the Mariners on Sunday when they send Henry Owens to the mound against Vidal Nuno. Following the Sox' recent offensive outburst, Owens has to like his odds of picking up his second major league win Sunday in his home debut. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA through two major league starts. He has tossed 10 innings, striking out seven while walking five. Most recently, Owens went up against the Tigers last Sunday. He logged five innings on a limited pitch count, allowing three hits and four walks but just one run. Owens didn't have his swing-and-miss stuff, but he did have the fly ball pitch working, as he generated 13 outfield pops. After the game, he felt a weight get lifted off his shoulders in the form of his first career victory. "I think, probably these last two starts, looking back, I can kind of trust myself in the zone more, rather than tinker around the strike zone," Owens said. "It's good to get these first two out of the way, and the first zone, set my shoulders back, take a deep breath and move on." Owens will face the AL's worst hitting team Sunday in the Mariners, who have posted a .241 batting average in 2015. He will also look to boost his punchout numbers against them as they've whiffed at a horrendous 21.4 percent clip. Nuno, Owens' opponent on Sunday, is no stranger to the Red Sox after spending his first two big league seasons in the Big Apple with the Yankees. He has made one career start against the Red Sox, one in which he tossed 5 2/3 innings and rung up five en route to a win. Wins have been hard to come by for Nuno, who started the season with the Diamondbacks and was traded to Seattle in June. The three-year pro owns a 3-16 career record in 33 starts, good for a .158 winning percentage. His bout with the final line is just a matter of bad luck, as he has a 3.98 career ERA. This season, Nuno has worked primarily out of the bullpen for the Mariners as he has made 20 appearances and just two starts, compiling a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings pitched. Nuno moved into the rotation at the beginning of August, logging both of his starts this month. In these two outings, Nuno has gone 8 2/3, allowing 10 hits, including three home runs, and five runs total. Public enemy No. 1 in Nuno's last start against the Orioles on Monday was Adam Jones, who crushed a solo shot in the first inning to get the scoring started. Nuno recovered, but the damage had been done against him and his lifeless offense as he took the loss in a 3-2 affair. After the game, Mariners manager Lloyd McLendon acknowledged that Nuno could have earned the win had it not been for his first-inning miscue. "He just left one pitch up. Actually, two pitches to Adam Jones," McClendon said. "He did a pretty nice job, and got up to almost 100 pitches." Nuno will have the unfortunate task of facing the Red Sox offense, one which has turned itself into the most lethal in baseball nearly overnight. Coming off the Sox' 22-10 drubbing of Cy Young Award winner "King" Felix Hernandez, Nuno certainly will be wary when he toes the bump Sunday. Mariners vs. Owens (LHP) No Mariners have faced Owens. Red Sox vs. Nuno (LHP) Josh Rutledge (6 plate appearances): .200 AVG/.333 OBP/.200 SLG Ryan Hanigan (4): .000/.250/.000 Hanley Ramirez (4): .500/.500/.500 Brock Holt (3): .500/.667/1.000, 1 double Pablo Sandoval (3): .667/.667/.667 Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Nuno. Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-2 against Nuno. No other Red Sox have faced Nuno.