Can struggling Boston starter turn it around against red-hot O’s?

On Sept. 1, 2007 Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz pitched a no-hitter against the Orioles in just his second major league start. That seems pretty unlikely to happen today with the Orioles’ offense starting to percolate and Buchholz pitching very poorly this year.

The Orioles have scored 42 runs over their last seven games and Buchholz is 3-1 with an ERA of 8.69 over five starts. In 29 innings, he has allowed 40 hits and seven homers. He has given up five runs or more in every start this year. He is the only starter in baseball to have allowed five earned runs or more in each of his starts.

From 2010-11, Buchholz made 42 consecutive starts without giving up more than five earned runs.

Left-handed batters are hitting .356 against him and right-handed batters are hitting .292 on the year versus Buchholz.

How has Buchholz managed to win three games with those stats? He leads the major leagues averaging 10.86 runs of support from his offense for every nine innings pitched. He won his last start by an 11-6 score over Oakland.

I guess he is due for a good game, but the Orioles hope it doesn’t happen today. He is 5-3 with an ERA of 3.26 in 10 career games and nine starts against Baltimore.

By the way, the two starters today, Buchholz and Tommy Hunter, have combined to allow 15 homers this year over 60 2/3 innings. Hunter has allowed eight homers on the year, but just two over his last two starts when he has pitched to an ERA of 2.08.

Can the struggling Boston pitcher turn it around today against the red-hot Orioles?

Hardy’s homers: You can add two more homers to Buchholz’s stats. J.J. Hardy hit solo shots off him in the first and third innings as the O’s took a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning today at Fenway.

It’s Hardy’s eighth career multi-homer game and first since last Aug. 12 against Detroit.

Before today, Hardy had just one homer and one multi-hit game over his past 16 games, but he now has six homers on the year.

He becomes the second Oriole with a two-homer game on the season. Matt Wieters hit a pair at Chicago on April 16.

Not today: No, Buchholz could not turn it around today. Robert Andino’s three-run homer in the fourth has knocked him out of the game. Buchholz entered with an ERA of 8.69 and it actually went up to 9.09 as he allowed five runs over 3 2/3 innings.

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