Thursday's Red Sox-Rays matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Jeremy Hellickson

September 12, 2013 - 6:28 am
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Jake Peavy takes the mound for the Red Sox on Thursday night against Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays, looking to extend his team'€™s AL East lead. With its 7-3 extra-inning win Wednesday, Boston pushed its division lead over Tampa Bay to a season-high 9½ games. Peavy (11-5, 4.01 ERA) will be making his eighth start since the Red Sox acquired him from the White Sox on July 30 to strengthen their rotation. So far, the deal has gone swimmingly. He'€™s posted a 3.55 ERA and a 1.029 WHIP in 45 2/3 innings. Strangely enough, one of Peavy'€™s important peripheral numbers is significantly worse with Boston then with his former team. Peavy struck out 8.6 batters per nine innings in 13 starts with the White Sox. That number has decreased to 5.2 with the Red Sox. However, despite the decreased strikeout ratio, Peavy'€™s ERA has dropped from 4.28 with the White Sox to 3.55 with Boston. Last time out, Peavy put together a shaky performance vs. the Yankees. He did not factor in the decision as his team captured a 9-8 win against New York last Thursday, allowing four runs, along with six hits and three walks, in six innings. Before that start, Peavy was on a four-start stretch of allowing less than three runs. Peavy faced Tampa Bay on April 26 in his fifth start of the season with the White Sox and earned a win, allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings. This season has been Hellickson'€™s worst as a pro. He won the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year, then posted a solid 3.10 ERA in 177 innings last season. But his ERA has jumped to 5.04 this season. His struggles can almost entirely be blamed on poor luck in comparison to what he'€™s seen in the first two years. In his first two full seasons as a starter, Hellickson allowed a .223 and a .261 batting average on balls in play, both well below the league average in 2012 (.297). However, that number spiked to a career-high .311 this season. Hellickson'€™s control has been spot on, as he'€™s walked just 2.5 batters per nine innings, easily a career best. On the flip side, he'€™s already allowed a career-high 170 hits in just 159 innings. Hellickson (11-8) did not allow a run in his most recent start, when he earned his 11th win of the season with 5 1/3 innings against the Angels last Wednesday. It marked the first time since June 24 that Hellickson shut out an opponent. In his previous six starts, Hellickson amassed a 9.00 ERA, a 2.12 WHIP and five losses. Hellickson faced Boston at Fenway twice this season and pitched well both times. On April 15 he allowed two runs on just three hits and a walk in seven innings. On June 19, he beat the Red Sox with six innings of work, again allowing two runs. Red Sox vs. Hellickson (RHP) David Ortiz (28): .364/.500/.773, 2 HR, 1 triple, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 6 walks Jarrod Saltalamacchia (27): .304/.407/.696, 2 HR, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts Jacoby Ellsbury (24): .261/.292/.348, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Will Middlebrooks (12): .083/.083/.083, 8 strikeouts Mike Napoli (11): .182/.182/.182, 5 strikeouts Daniel Nava (11): .100/.182/.100, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Stephen Drew (7): .429/.429/.571, 1 double, 1 strikeout Mike Carp (7): .286/.286/.286 Jonny Gomes (7): .429/.429/.857, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 strikeouts John McDonald (3): .000/.333/.000 Shane Victorino (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI Quintin Berry (2): .500/.500/.500 Ryan Lavarnway (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Jackie Bradley Jr. (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout David Ross and Brandon Snyder have not faced Hellickson. Rays vs. Peavy (RHP) James Loney (29): .321/.345/.679, 2 HR, 4 doubles, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts David DeJesus (21): .143/.143/.238, 1 triple, 3 RBIs, 8 strikeouts Kelly Johnson (16): .167/.375/.167, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts Delmon Young (15): .231/.333/.538, 1 HR, 1 double, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts Luke Scott (12): .333/.333/.750, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts Ben Zobrist (12): .400/.417/.900, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Evan Longoria (12): .167/.167/.417, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout Yunel Escobar (9): .111/.111/.111, 4 strikeouts Jose Molina (6): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts Matthew Joyce (6): .167/.167/.667, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts Sean Rodriguez (5): .500/.500/.500 Sam Fuld (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk Desmond Jennings (3): .000/.000/.000 Jose Lobaton (2): .000/.000/.000 Chris Gimenez and Wil Myers have not faced Peavy.
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