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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 15 (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (50-72) at Boston Red Sox (55-65), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.07) Boston - Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.99)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Perhaps Clay Buchholz needs the Houston Astros more than the Houston Astros need Clay Buchholz.

The Boston right-hander will try to match July success against the visitors on Friday night when the Red Sox meet Houston in game two of a four-game series at Fenway Park.

Buchholz bedeviled the Astros in a July 13 outing at Minute Maid Park, where he struck out 12 batters and allowed just three hits in a 12-0 masterpiece. In five starts since, however, he's won just once and compiled a 7.50 earned run average.

In fact, he gave up seven runs in consecutive starts before lasting eight innings and allowing only three runs in his last outing, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on Saturday.

The Angels ultimately won the game, though, 5-4, in 19 innings.

Boston has since won four straight, including a 9-4 win in Thursday's opener with Houston. The Red Sox are 16-4 in 20 meetings with the Astros and have never lost to them at Fenway.

Houston, meanwhile, has lost six in a row away from home.

The Astros will go with young ace Dallas Keuchel on Friday, trying to get back to a stretch of six solid outings that was ended with a 6-2 loss against Texas on Sunday. He allowed five runs in six innings to the Rangers after posting a 0.78 ERA in his previous three starts.

Keuchel has never faced Boston, though Yoenis Cespedes, whom the Red Sox recently acquired, is 5-for-10 against him.

On Thursday, Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored for Boston, while David Ortiz had two hits and drove in a run for the Red Sox, who have won four straight.

Allen Webster (3-1) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on five hits with three walks over six innings to earn the win.

Matt Dominguez hit a two-run home run for the Astros, who have lost four of five. Scott Feldman (6-9) allowed seven runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

08/15 10:34:27 ET