Clay Buchholz

Thursday's Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Wandy Rodriguez

May 21, 2015 - 7:58 am

The Red Sox will close out a three-game series with the Rangers on Thursday, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against veteran Wandy Rodriguez. Aside from one bad start, Buchholz has been a source of consistency for the Red Sox all season long. Since his disastrous game in New York on April 12 in which he allowed nine earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work, Buchholz has improved drastically. Despite a meager 1-3 record, he has posted four quality starts in his last six appearances. During these last six starts, the right-hander has shown swing-and-miss capability, fanning 42 batters in 35 1/3 innings. Additionally, he has fallen victim to bad luck, with opponents' batting average on balls in play reaching .375 over this stretch. Though his last start showed his BABIP beginning to even out as he hurled eight innings of three-hit ball Friday against the Mariners, Buchholz still received the tough-luck no-decision as the Red Sox dropped the contest 2-1 behind shoddy run support. "He had command, he had a lot of strikes, he had every pitch working for him tonight," Red Sox manager John Farrell said following Buchholz's latest start. "He pitched ahead in the count for the most part. ... He was very, very good." The Nederland, Texas, native heads into Thursday's start with a 2-4 record and 4.93 ERA. He will look to boost these numbers against a team which has presented him with problems in the past. Buchholz has lost four of his six starts versus Texas in his career in large part due to the 1.40 WHIP he has compiled when facing the Rangers. Buchholz will be opposed by longtime National League arm Wandy Rodriguez, who has remained tough throughout his age-36 season, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.86 ERA. Though touched up for five earned runs in his most recent outing against the Indians, Rodriguez showed his mettle in his previous two starts, allowing just five hits in 14 innings of work, good for two Rangers victories. The left-hander will be making his Fenway Park debut Thursday, having never before faced the Red Sox over the course of his nearly nine-year career. Rangers vs. Buchholz (RHP) Shin-Soo Choo (16 plate appearances): .083 AVG/.313 OBP/.167 SLG, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts Adrian Beltre (12): .182/.250/.364, 2 doubles Elvis Andrus (11): .455/.455/.545, 1 double, 4 strikeouts Prince Fielder (10): .250/.400/.250, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Mitch Moreland (4): .500/.500/.500 Carlos Peguero has one strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Buchholz. Leonys Martin is 1-for-2 in two plate appearances vs. Buchholz. Carlos Corporan is 0-for-1 in one plate appearance vs. Buchholz. Kyle Blanks, Robinson Chirinos, Delino DeShields, Thomas Field and Adam Rosales have not faced Buchholz. Red Sox vs. Rodriguez (LHP) Hanley Ramirez (28): .417/.500.792, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 4 walks Shane Victorino (18): .333/.333/.389, 1 double, 3 strikeouts Pablo Sandoval (10): .222/.300/.222 Mike Napoli (6): .200/.333/.200, 2 strikeouts Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Blake Swihart have not faced Rodriguez.