Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum Duel In Rubber Game Between Red Sox, Giants

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Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum Duel In Rubber Game Between Red Sox, Giants A wild trip out west has resulted in some heartbreaking losses, some uplifting wins and two more major injuries for the Red Sox. It all comes to an end against one of the game's best pitchers in Tim Lincecum, who leads the San Francisco Giants into Sunday afternoon's finale with the Sox.

Boston is 2-3 on the trip after eight pitchers combined to throw a six-hitter in a 4-2 win Saturday. Clay Buchholz left after just one inning when he suffered a knee injury running the bases, but the bullpen made an early 4-0 lead hold up.

The injury to Buchholz came just hours after the Sox placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 15-day disabled list.

Lincecum has been his usual dominant self of late. He has won three straight and pushed his ERA back below 3.00 with eight outstanding innings in a win over Houston five days ago.

The Sox have no slouch on the mound in Jon Lester, who was a hard-luck loser at Colorado on the front end of the trip.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red
Sox
(45-31) at Giants
(40-33)
Sunday, June 27, 4:05 p.m.
AT&T Park, San
Francisco

HEAD TO HEAD

The Giants had won three in a row against the Red Sox at home until Saturday.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Jon Lester (8-3, 3.03 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (8-2, 2.86 ERA)

Lester allowed just one run in six innings against the Rockies five days ago. He was taken out only because the Sox needed a pinch hitter in a key situation in the seventh inning, but he was going strong at the time.

The big lefty struck out six and walked just one before being removed in what ended up being his first loss in 12 starts.

Lincecum has won three straight starts and his 113 strikeouts are the second-most in the National League. Before the two-time Cy Young Award winner went on his personal winning streak, he had seen his ERA nearly double through some rocky outings. But he has allowed only two earned runs in 22 innings during the turnaround.

LINEUPS

Red Sox Giants
Marco Scutaro, SS
Daniel Nava, LF
David Ortiz, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Victor Martinez, C
J.D. Drew, RF
Bill Hall, 2B
Darnell McDonald, CF
Jon Lester, P
Andres Torres, CF
Freddie Sanchez, 2B
Aubrey Huff, LF
Buster Posey, 1B
Edgar Renteria, SS
Bengie Molina, C
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Tim Lincecum, P

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Center fielder Mike Cameron has six RBIs in his last four games. He had just two in the previous 24 games.
  • Left fielder Daniel Nava failed to reach base Saturday for the first time in 13 games as a major leaguer.
  • Saturday marked the first time in 15 starts this season that Buchholz did not get a decision.

Giants

  • After issuing 10 walks Friday, Giants pitchers allowed just one Saturday.
  • Outfielder Pat Burrell is batting .315 in 18 games with San Francisco. He hit only .202 in 24 games with Tampa Bay.
  • Catcher Buster Posey has three RBIs in his last two games. He did not drive in a single run in the previous eight.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a fracture in his left foot. He suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off his left foot Friday. Pedroia will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Boston.
  • Buchholz left in the second inning Saturday after suffering a hyperextended left knee running the bases.
  • Outfielder J.D. Drew returns to the starting lineup Sunday as he deals with a strained right hamstring. Drew has not started a game since June 18.
  • Outfielder Jeremy Hermida was placed on the DL on June 11 after an MRI revealed five fractured ribs, the result of a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre one week earlier. He is expected to begin outfield drills soon but has not started to swing yet.
  • An MRI conducted June 9 revealed a new fracture in outfielder Jacoby
    Ellsbury
    's ribs. Ellsbury, who was placed on the DL May 28 for the
    second time this year, has been at the Athletes' Performance center in
    Arizona for two weeks but has yet to resume baseball activities.
  • Josh Beckett threw 55 pitches in his second bullpen session
    Wednesday and will toss a simulated game Saturday as he works his way
    back from a lower back strain.
  • Infielder Jed Lowrie remains on the DL after coming down with
    mononucleosis during spring training. He is playing in extended spring
    training games.
  • Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March.
    He is out for the year.

Giants

  • Right-hander Todd Wellemeyer is on the DL with a strained
    right quadriceps.
  • Infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who had surgery on his left foot
    in March, is on a rehab assignment and hopes to return in July.
  • Left fielder Mark DeRosa will miss the rest of the season
    with surgery on his left wrist.

OUTLOOK

The way things are going with the Red Sox these days, you can almost expect an injury to occur and for someone to step up and make it a non-factor.

That's likely not the route the club is hoping for. Instead, it would love to see Jon Lester get back into the win column. There's always a good chance of that — Lester is 6-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 12 interleague starts.

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