Today’s pitchers: Berken vs. Matsuzaka

RHP Jason Berken (5-11, 6.08) today makes his 22nd start of this season, his 13th at home and his 4th of the year vs. Boston.

Despite allowing five runs over 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday, Berken got the win vs. Tampa. He gave up four runs in the first, then settled down after that.

Over his last five starts, Berken is 3-0, 4.23.

Before this stretch, the 25-year-old righty had a record of 2-11, 6.72.

Berken has struggled often in the first inning, giving up 25 of his 71 runs and a batting average of .368 in the opening inning. He has pitched six innings or more in six starts.

In 12 home starts, Berken is 3-6, 5.17.

In three starts this season vs. Boston, Berken is 0-2, 10.03. In 11 2/3 innings, he has allowed 23 hits including one homer.

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-5, 7.02) today makes his 10th start of the year, his 5th on the road and the 6th of his career vs. Baltimore.

Matsuzaka was the MVP of the World Baseball Classic in March going 3-0, 2.45 for Japan.

But once the big league season began, he began to struggle. With a record of 1-5 and ERA at 8.23 in mid June, he went on the DL with a right shoulder strain.

He made four injury rehab appearances in the minors, going 1-1, 4.50.

He returned to the Majors off the DL and pitched six scoreless innings on Tuesday vs. Los Angeles. He allowed just three hits. In his previous three Major League starts back in June, he had allowed 15ER over 13 2/3 innings.

This season, right-handed batters are hitting .359 off him and lefties bat .343. The Red Sox are 3-6 in his starts.

In four road starts, Matsuzaka is 1-1, 7.80.

Last season, he went 18-3, 2.90 in 29 Boston starts.

Matsuzaka vs. Baltimore:
2009: No appearances
Career: 2-1, 4.72, five games (26 2/3IP, 24H, 21B, 29K).

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