Tuesday's Red Sox-Rays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. David Price

September 10, 2013 - 5:46 am
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Clay Buchholz makes his long-awaited return from the disabled list when he faces reigning AL Cy Young award winner David Price and the Rays on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. Buchholz spent more than three months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Buchholz will be on a 75-80 pitch limit against second-place Tampa Bay, which enters the three-game series 7½ games behind Boston in the AL East. '€œAt a certain point, yeah, I didn'€™t really think I'€™d be able to throw or let it go again. That'€™s what I was feeling. That feeling'€™s gone, and I feel good now,'€ said Buchholz after a bullpen session Sunday. '€œMentally I'€™m ready. I think that'€™s what everyone was questioning -- mental toughness and everything. But I know my body better than everybody else does. I'€™m comfortable pitching now. There'€™s nothing wrong that'€™s come up.'€ Through more than two months, Buchholz was enjoying his best season of his seven-year career. In 84 1/3 innings, the righty produced career highs in ERA (1.71) and WHIP (1.02), and his best strikeout-per-nine ratio (8.5) since 2008. He also posted an unblemished 9-0 record. Buchholz made his last start on June 8, a 7-2 win against the Angels, when he gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Buchholz faced the Rays at Fenway Park in his third start of the season, and he dazzled. He struck out a career-high 11 in eight innings and allowed just two hits and zero runs. Price, who led the AL in ERA (2.56) and wins (20) en route to winning the 2012 AL Cy Young award, enters Tuesday'€™s game on a cold streak. His ERA over his last five outings sits at 4.78. In his last start, Price was roughed up the Angels for six runs and 11 hits in seven innings. The 11 hits were the most Price has allowed since May 10, 2012. It'€™s been a strange up-and-down season for Price, who went on the disabled list for a triceps injury on May 16, after a putrid start against the Red Sox in which he lasted only 2 1/3 innings. His ERA at the time was 5.24. On July 2, Price made his first start in a month and a half, and the rest clearly did him well as he morphed back into the Cy Young version of himself. From that date to Aug. 9, Price'€™s ERA was 1.40. In 64 1/3 innings, the lefty walked just two batters and struck out 44. In back-to-back games at Fenway Park, Price went a combined 16 1/3 innings and allowed just two runs in a pair of wins. After the ups and downs, Price'€™s ERA has settled at 3.51 entering Tuesday'€™s game. Red Sox vs. Price (LHP) Dustin Pedroia (48): .286/.375/.452, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts David Ortiz (39): .235/.333/.324, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts Jacoby Ellsbury (36): .206/.250/.441, 1 HR, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Mike Napoli (28): .296/.321/.556, 2 HR, 1 double, 1 walk, 14 strikeouts Daniel Nava (19): .056/.105/.056, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts Shane Victorino (19): .235/.316/.235, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Jonny Gomes (18): .176/.222/.235, 1 double, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts John McDonald (15): .214/.267/.357, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk Jarrod Saltalamacchia (14): .083/.214/.167, 1 double, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts Will Middlebrooks (10): .500/.500/.900, 1 HR, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts Ryan Lavarnway (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 4 strikeouts Stephen Drew (8): .000/.125/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts Brandon Snyder (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 HR, 1 RBI David Ross (5): .400/.400/1.600, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout Quintin Berry (2): .000/.000/.000 Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mike Carp have not faced Price. Rays vs. Buchholz (RHP) Ben Zobrist (40): .118/.250/.147, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts Luke Scott (39): .219/.359/.500, 2 HR, 3 doubles, 5 RBIs, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts Evan Longoria (36): .219/.306/.313, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts Matt Joyce (25): .286/.363/.333, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts Jose Molina (22): .350/.364/.400, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts Yunel Escobar (20): .200/.368/.400, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout Desmond Jennings (18): .200/.250/.267, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts Kelly Johnson (14): .100/.308/.100, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts David DeJesus (12): .333/.500/.444, 1 double, 3 walks, 1 strikeout Sean Rodriguez (12): .300/.273/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts Delmon Young (9): .111/.111/.111, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts James Loney (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walk Sam Fuld (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Chris Gimenez (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Jose Lobaton and Wil Myers have not faced Buchholz.
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