The defending World Series champion Red Sox will send Matt Clement to the mound against the major league-leading White Sox’s left-handed ace Mark Buehrle, who started last week’s All-Star game in Detroit for the AL.
While Boston is clinging to a slim lead over Baltimore and the New York Yankees in the AL East, Chicago has pulled out to 11-game advantage in the Central.
Clement and Buehrle have both played significant roles in their respective teams’ success this year.
Clement, signed as a free agent this past offseason after spending his first seven years in the NL, picked up the slack for an injury-plagued staff in the first half. He leads Boston in wins (10) and strikeouts (101).
However, the veteran right-hander did not fare well in his first start after the All-Star break, surrendering six runs and five hits over a season-low 2 2-3 innings in a 7-4 loss to the Yankees on Saturday.
Buehrle ended a two-start losing streak Saturday, yielding two runs and three hits over seven innings of a 7-5 victory at Cleveland. The left-hander struck out six without a walk, lowering his team-leading ERA to 2.58. Buehrle also leads the White Sox in strikeouts (91) and ranks second on the team in victories with 11—three behind AL leader and teammate Jon Garland (14).
The Red Sox enter the series after taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, including Wednesday’s 9-4 victory. Johnny Damon homered and Kevin Millar scored three runs for Boston, which has won two straight since dropping six of seven.
The White Sox had won five straight before losing the final two games of their series with Detroit. On Wednesday, Tadahito Iguchi and Chris Widger hit solo homers for Chicago in an 8-6 loss to the Tigers.