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Saturday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Josh Tomlin

05.12.12 at 9:07 am ET

After spending much of the 2010 and 2011 seasons in the Red Sox bullpen, Felix Doubront finally got the chance to join the starting rotation in 2012 and has been relatively effective.

Doubront is a modest 2-1 with a 5.01 ERA, but three of his six starts have been of the quality start variety. In four starts the lefty has struck out six or more batters, but he has only earned a winning decision in the two starts in which he had less than six strikeouts.

The 24-year-old’€™s last decision came against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on May 7, when he lasted 6 1/3 innings, which was his longest outing of the year. Doubront allowed five runs, but only three were earned. His threw 111 pitches, the highest pitch count of his career. He allowed three hits in the seventh inning and walked in a run before being relieved by Vicente Padilla. With the bases loaded, Padilla induced Billy Butler to hit an inning-ending double play, allowing Doubront to keep the positive decision as the Red Sox went on to win 11-5.

The young lefty is almost completely unknown to the Indians lineup, as he’€™s never faced Cleveland in a starter or reliever role. Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman are the only Indians players to have faced Doubront in their careers, and they only have four combined plate appearances against him.

Cleveland will trot out 27-year-old right-hander Josh Tomlin. While Tomlin is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA, the Indians are 4-2 in games in which he pitches. He has started five games and made one relief appearance, which came April 14 against the Royals. Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez was tossed from the game after hitting Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas in the third inning. Tomlin came in and provided the Indians with 3 2/3 innings of relief, allowing four earned runs on six hits, as Cleveland won 11-9.

In his last start Tomlin was strong, going 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and striking out eight while throwing a season-high 104 pitches against the visiting White Sox. Tomlin left in the eighth inning of that game with the lead and two runners on, but reliever Joe Smith couldn’€™t finish the job, allowing a game-tying single to Alex Rios. The Indians eventually went on to win 3-2.

Tomlin has started against the Red Sox three times in his career, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He last faced Boston at Fenway on Aug. 1, 2011. He did not get a decision after pitching six innings, allowing 10 hits and five earned runs. The Indians won that game 9-6. Only five current Red Sox players have faced Tomlin. Mike Aviles has the most at-bats against him with 14, but he is only batting .143, with a home run and a double as his only hits.

Indians vs. Doubront (LHP)

Johnny Damon (2 plate appearances): .500 BA/.500 OBP/1.000 SLG, 1 double

Casey Kotchman (2): .000/.000/.000

Red Sox vs. Tomlin (RHP)

Mike Aviles (14 plate apperances): .143 BA/.143 OBP/.429 SLG, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (9): .000/.111/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Adrian Gonzalez (6): .167/.167/.167

Dustin Pedroia (6): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5): .750/.800/1.750, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

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