04/27/10 12:14 AM ET
Red Sox-Jays matchup likely pitchers' duel
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
Both right-handers have done particularly well against the other team and are already in fine form this season, making a pitchers' duel a distinct possibility.
For Buchholz, confidence is the key.
He took hold of the fifth spot in Boston's rotation when the club moved veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to the bullpen to make way for the returning Daisuke Matsuzaka, and he has delivered this year, including his previous start, a hard-luck loss to the Rangers, in which he threw six scoreless innings before being dinged for three runs in the seventh.
Still, Buchholz struck out a career-high 10 and has a 2.70 ERA.
"Up until the seventh inning, I felt really good about it," Buchholz said. "But other than that, I felt good. I felt like I'm moving in the right direction."
Buchholz has seemingly always moved in the right direction against the Blue Jays. He went 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA against Toronto in 2009 alone, including a 2-0 mark with a 1.54 ERA in Rogers Centre.
Meanwhile, Marcum has mastered the Red Sox more often that not. Before sitting out 2009 with an arm injury, Marcum was 4-2 with a 3.67 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings against Boston.
He, too, had hard luck in a well-pitched game in his previous start. Marcum, who has yet to earn his first win of the season, was touched early, giving up three hits, including a three-run homer by Jose Guillen in the first inning against the Royals. Marcum settled down after his rough first, shutting down the Royals through his remaining six innings. He finished the day yielding three earned runs on six hits, while striking out six.
"For the most part, I thought I did a good job after the first inning," Marcum said. "I had a couple pitches get away from me."
Red Sox: Pedroia's power surge
Dustin Pedroia's five homers in 2010 are the most by a Sox second baseman in the month of April, passing the mark of four achieved by Tim Naehring (1994), Mike Andrews (1969) and Bobby Doerr (1941). Pedroia belted his fifth home run in his 45th at-bat of 2010; he did not hit his fifth homer last season until his 384th at-bat on July 29, 2009, against Oakland. ... Jason Varitek hit his fourth homer of the season Saturday night and has gone deep in three of his six starts overall. The four homers are his most through his first eight games of any season, and six of his 10 hits in 2010 have gone for extra bases.
Blue Jays: Wells comes close to 200
Vernon Wells remained at 199 career homers after Monday night's game, although he came very close to the magical No. 200, doubling high off the left-field wall in his first at-bat. Wells, who went 3-for-5 on Monday, has hit 27 homers against Boston since 2002, the most long balls by any player against the Red Sox in that span. ... The Jays' Triple-A team, the Las Vegas 51s, had a truly amazing game Sunday night, beating Sacramento, the A's affiliate, 14-11. Jarrett Hoffpauir of the 51s hit for the cycle and scored five runs, and Brian Dopirak won the game for Las Vegas with a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam.
The Red Sox have played an American League-leading four extra-inning games this season and are 1-3 in those games. ... At 25 years, 251 days, Buchholz was the club's youngest righty to fan 10 or more in a game since Aaron Sele (23 years, 95 days) had 11 on Sept. 28, 1993, against Detroit. ... Entering Tuesday, Toronto starters had posted at least six innings in all but four of the club's 19 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.