With Curt Schilling on the disabled list, Clement has been Boston’s ace this season.
The right-hander, who spent three seasons with the Chicago Cubs before signing with the Red Sox in December, has given up three earned runs or fewer in 13 of his 16 starts this year. In his last three outings, Clement has allowed just four runs over 22 innings.
“I learned a lot getting to pitch with the guys I pitched with last year,” said Clement, part of an impressive Cubs rotation last season that included Greg Maddux. “It helped me mature and develop a game plan.”
With one more win, Clement will surpass his victory total from all of last season, when he went 9-13 in 30 starts.
Friday’s pitching matchup, especially with the game being in Boston, certainly seems to favor the Red Sox.
Clement has a 1.84 ERA in his last six starts at home, and is 6-0 in nine career outings at Fenway Park.
Toronto counters with Ted Lilly, who is 0-6 with an 8.35 ERA in seven starts on the road this season. He’s never won in five career starts at Fenway, posting a 6.49 ERA.
Boston started a six-game homestand with losses to Cleveland on Monday and Tuesday, but Doug Mirabelli and Mark Bellhorn’s consecutive homers in a four-run sixth inning Wednesday helped the Red Sox beat the Indians 5-2 to avoid the sweep.
Toronto comes into Fenway having won two straight and six of 10.
“I tried not to think about it,” said Towers, who allowed a one-out single in the seventh inning to break up the no-hitter. “Getting that far without a hit was amazing.”