The Red Sox have lost five straight games and are one more loss away from getting swept by the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. In order to prevent that from happening, they’ll have to get the best out of old friend and former Sox right-hander Clay Buccholz on Thursday night.
Since being traded from Boston to the Philadelphia Phillies in December of 2016, Buccholz has yet to pitch against the club he began his professional career with, but has made 26 total starts across three different organizations over three seasons, including eight for Toronto in 2019.
The 35-year-old owns a 5.31 ERA and .283 batting average against in 42 1/3 innings pitched over that span, but has looked better since returning from the injured list due to shoulder inflammation on August 25th, allowing a total of eight runs (seven earned) on 13 hits and nine walks over his last three outings and 17 2/3 innings of work.
Against Buccholz, third baseman Rafael Devers will get the night off for the Red Sox, while Brock Holt slides into the two-hole to make his second start of the year at the hot corner. This will also be the first time this season that the 31-year-old will hit as high as second in Boston’s lineup.
Behind the plate, it will be Juan Centeno making his first start in a Red Sox uniform to catch Jhoulys Chacin.
Centeno entered Wednesday’s loss as a defensive replacement for Christian Vazquez in the middle of the sixth inning and popped out to third in his lone plate appearance in the eighth.
Signed as a minor league free agent by Boston last November, the Puerto Rico native was part of the first round of September call-ups at the beginning of the month. He has never caught Chacin before in his career.
Speaking of Chacin, the 31-year-old hurler will be making his second start for the Sox after impressing with two scoreless frames against the New York Yankees last Friday and tossing a scoreless frame of relief in the same series on Sunday.
Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up behind Chacin.
First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN.