Clay Buchholz

Thursday's Red Sox-Braves matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Shelby Miller

June 18, 2015 - 4:19 am

In the final day of a four-game, two-city set with the Braves, the Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the hill opposite Shelby Miller.

In his first 13 starts on the year, Buchholz is 3-6 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.316 WHIP. The right-hander has not been the ace many hoped he would, but has not received much help from either the defense behind him or his team's offense.

Buchholz has accrued a FIP of 2.79, pitching far better than just his ERA would suggest. At the plate, his teammates have managed to score only one run in a whopping seven of the Texan's 13 outings.

The 30-year-old's last appearance came on Saturday against the Blue Jays. Buchholz lasted six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Buchholz recorded a no-decision in the game, which the Red Sox eventually lost 5-4 in 11 innings.

"Everybody in here knows we're not playing like we want to play," Buchholz said in the clubhouse afterward. "We've got to find a way to win."

The Red Sox lineup will have to contend with one of the best pitchers in the National League in Miller. The right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.02 ERA on the season. The latter figure ranks seventh among all qualified starters in the majors.

The former Cardinal has posted an impressive 1.028 WHIP in his first 13 starts, which is 14th best in the bigs. Opponents are hitting a meager .197 against Miller, the sixth-best figure in baseball.

Despite the masterful numbers, Miller has not recorded a win since May 17. In that time, he has worked to four no-decisions and a loss.

His last outing was a no-decision against the Mets in a 5-3 win for the Braves in 11 innings. Miller, 24, threw 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out four.

Miller made his only career start against the Red Sox on Aug. 6, 2014, as a member of the Cardinals. He pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on four hits. The performance was good enough only for a no-decision, as the Red Sox got a 2-1 win behind a strong outing from Joe Kelly.

Red Sox vs. Miller (RHP)

Xander Bogaerts (3 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.333 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI

Brock Holt is 0-for-3 against Miller.

Mike Napoli (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia is 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Miller.

Pablo Sandoval is 1-for-3 with an RBI against Miller.

Mookie Betts is 0-for-2 against Miller.

Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-1 with a walk in two plate appearances against Miller.

No other Red Sox have faced Miller.

Braves vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Nick Markakis (46 plate appearances): .154 AVG/.283 OBP/.154 SLG, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (16): .083/.267/.083, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

A.J. Pierzynski (12): .500/.500/.583, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Freddie Freeman has walked in each of his three plate appearances against Buchholz.

Jonny Gomes is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Buchholz.

Juan Uribe is 0-for-3 against Buchholz.

Chris Johnson is 1-for-2 against Buchholz.

Andrelton Simmons is 0-for-1 with a walk against Buchholz.

No other Braves have faced Buchholz.