BOSTON — Clay Buchholz turned in his best start of the 2016 season last Wednesday, scattering three hits and two runs over seven innings as the Red Sox took down the American League-leading Chicago White Sox.
He’ll go for his second consecutive win Monday night as Boston welcomes the Oakland A’s to Fenway Park for the opener of a three-game series.
The Red Sox struggled mightily with Buchholz on the mound in April, losing each of the right-hander’s first five starts. Buchholz tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings in one of those outings but was ineffective in the four others, surrendering five earned runs in each.
“Hopefully, (Monday night) is a chance for him to build on his last start in Chicago,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Monday in his pregame news conference. “Attack the strike zone, keep a simplified game plan and trust his stuff.”
Opposing Buchholz will be A’s right-hander Sonny Gray, who is looking to rebound from an outing last Tuesday in which he allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits over seven innings in a loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Gray has fared well in his two career starts against Boston, allowing three earned runs on nine hits over 13 total innings. He also struck out 12 batters over that span and walked just two.
Here are the starting lineups for both teams:
BOSTON RED SOX (18-13)
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Brock Holt, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP (1-3, 5.71 ERA)
OAKLAND ATHLETICS (14-18)
Coco Crisp, CF
Jed Lowrie, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Khris Davis, LF
Steven Vogt, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
Yonder Alonso, 1B
Josh Phegley, C
Marcus Semien, SS
Sonny Gray, RHP (3-3, 4.84 ERA)
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images