Wednesday's Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Rick Porcello

September 04, 2013 - 4:43 am

The Red Sox and Tigers will face off in the finale of their three-game series on Wednesday, as Ryan Dempster gets the call for Boston opposite Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello. After the game, the Red Sox will head out on a six-game road trip, where they will take on division rivals in the Yankees and the Rays in a pivotal stretch in the AL East race. After being suspended for five games on Aug. 20 for intentionally hitting Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez two days earlier, Dempster returned to the mound after an almost two-week break on Friday against the White Sox, and the right-hander was solid -- holding Chicago to just three runs over 6 1/3 innings of work while punching out five batters. It was certainly an improvement for Dempster, who had struggled mightily in the month of August before his suspension. In his first four August starts, he allowed 20 runs  in 24 1/3 innings, raising his ERA from 4.24 on July 27 to 4.77 on Aug. 18. "I felt good. My body felt really good," Dempster said after the 4-3 victory. "I worked hard in the time off. I had to be as ready as possible and I got good results because of it." It has been 11 years since Dempster last started against the Tigers. In that 2002 game, the then-Reds pitcher did not factor in the decision despite only allowing one earned run over seven innings of work. Dempster made an appearance against the Tigers as a reliever in 2006, where he struck out one batter and allowed no runs over one inning of work. In his career against the Tigers, Dempster is 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 11 strikeouts over eight innings. Porcello (11-7, 4.44 ERA, 111 strikeouts, 1.30 WHIP) last pitched on Friday against the Indians, when the right-hander earned the win despite only lasting for 5 2/3 innings after throwing 100 pitches. Despite his early exit, Porcello only allowed two runs in the contest. Porcello's last start against the Red Sox was subpar, as he allowed four earned runs and surrendered eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. His last start actually was the longest that he ever lasted against the Sox, as he logged 5 1/3 innings against Boston in his first start in 2009, and then followed that up with just three innings of work in his second start in 2011. In his career against Boston, Porcello is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA. Tigers vs. Dempster (RHP) Prince Fielder (55 plate appearances): .256 BA/.364 OBP/.558 SLG, 3 home runs, 14 strikeouts Omar Infante (13): .231/.231/.615, 2 doubles, 1 home run Torii Hunter (11): .667/.700/1.000, 1 home run, 6 RBIs Miguel Cabrera (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Ramon Santiago (5): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts Victor Martinez (4): .500/.500/.750, 1 double, 1 RBI Brayan Pena (4): .333/.250/.333, 1 RBI Max Scherzer (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Alex Avila, Nick Castellanos, Andy Dirks, Jose Iglesias, Austin Jackson, Don Kelly, Hernan Perez, Matt Tuiasosopo and Danny Worth have not faced Dempster. Red Sox vs. Porcello (RHP) Mike Napoli (10): .333 BA/.400 OBP/.667 SLG, 1 double, 1 triple, 3 strikeouts Dustin Pedroia (9): .250/.333/.375, 1 double, 1 walk Jacoby Ellsbury (8): .857/.875/1.429, 1 double, 1 home run David Ortiz (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 single, 1 strikeout Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Stephen Drew (3): .000/.000/.000 John McDonald (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 home run, 1 RBI Will Middlebrooks (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout Brandon Snyder (3): .667/.667/.667, 2 singles, 1 strikeout Quintin Berry, Xander Bogaerts, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Lavarnway, Daniel Nava, David Ross, and Shane Victorino have not faced Porcello.