Red Sox Kick Off Perilous Road Stretch Against Tigers

Red Sox Kick Off Perilous Road Stretch Against Tigers Fresh off a 7-3 homestand, the Red Sox begin a dangerous stretch of road games with three straight against the Detroit Tigers.

The span at Fenway Park allowed Boston to move back above .500, but the club remains in fourth place in the American League East as it begins the difficult trip.

Including the Tigers, the Sox play their next five series against winning teams, with just one of series taking place at home. The New York Yankees, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are also among the opponents away from home before the month ends.

To add to the difficulty level, Detroit enters with a 12-4 mark at home and just took three of four from the Yankees.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red Sox (18-17) vs. Tigers (20-15)
Friday, May 14, 7 p.m.
Comerica Park, Detroit

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sox are 11-3 against the Tigers over the past two years.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Clay Buchholz (3-3, 3.82 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (1-3, 6.81 ERA)

Since his gem at Toronto late last month, Buchholz has come back to Earth. In a pair of starts at Fenway Park in May, the righty has given up 10 runs — nine earned — in 10 2/3 innings. Buchholz, who is taking the start in place of the injured Josh Beckett, has allowed 17 hits and has walked eight in that span while striking out just two.

The 25-year-old has faced the Tigers twice. In his lone start at Comerica, he gave up five runs on 10 hits in four rough innings.

Scherzer, a former first-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has struggled after a strong start. In his last three outings, the St. Louis native has been torched for 16 runs in 13 innings.


LINEUPS

Red Sox Tigers
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
J.D. Drew, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Darnell McDonald, CF
Austin Jackson, CF
Johnny Damon, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Brennan Boesch, LF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Scott Sizemore, 2B
Gerald Laird, C
Ramon Santiago, SS

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Right fielder J.D. Drew hit .469 (15-for-32) with seven RBIs during the team's 10-game homestand.
  • Outfielder Darnell McDonald is batting .391 (9-for-23) against lefties.
  • Designated hitter David Ortiz is hitting .310 (9-for-29) with seven RBIs this month.

Tigers

  • Closer Jose Valverde has not allowed a run in 15 outings, covering 14 2/3 innings.
  • First baseman Miguel Cabrera leads the AL in batting (.376) and RBIs (36).
  • Center fielder Austin Jackson is 2-for-16 with six strikeouts over his last four games.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Starter Josh Beckett was scratched from Friday's start due to back spasms. He tweaked his back swinging in the cage before Monday's game as pitchers get prepared to visit a National League park next weekend. There is no immediate date set for his return. 
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and a walk in his third rehab game for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. Cameron, out since April 18 with an abdominal strain, is expected to play another game or two with Pawtucket and is targeting a return to the team when it goes to New York next week.
  • Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, out since April 11 with fractured ribs, remains at least a few days away from returning.
  • Righty Boof Bonser allowed two hits in four scoreless innings Wednesday in his fourth rehab start for Pawtucket.

Tigers

  • Outfielder Carlos Guillen is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
  • Right-hander Zach Miner, out with a sore right elbow, has recently thrown in extended spring training.

OUTLOOK

The Sox could use a quality start to their five-game road trip, and with Max Scherzer on the mound, they have a chance. Opponents are hitting .327 against Scherzer, who is 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA at home.

Regardless of what Boston gets against the Detroit starter, Buchholz needs to find the form that made him the team's most reliable starter in April. With no return date set for Beckett, Buchholz's role takes on increased importance. Boston is 6-1 in Comerica Park over the past two years.

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