Despite failing to take the field due to poor weather conditions on Friday, the Boston Red Sox still moved further ahead of the New York Yankees atop the American League East standings after the Bronx Bombers bowed to Seattle on the road.
Saturday the Red Sox try to put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the division as they take the field at Fenway Park for a pair against the visiting LA Angels of Anaheim.
Getting the day started for the Angels, a team which is already 10 1/2 games out of contention in the AL West, ahead of only Houston in the standings, will be Tommy Hanson. The right-hander out of UC Riverside who began his career with the Atlanta Braves before moving over to the American League this season, lost his most recent outing on May 31 versus Houston, the team dropping each of his last three appearances.
Against the Astros Hanson gave up five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. The Oklahoma native struck out only two, matching his lowest total of the season.
Hanson has pitched against Boston only one other time in his career, throwing six shutout innings while allowing two hits and walking two and striking out a pair for the victory.
Countering for the Red Sox in the first game will be Felix Doubront, making just his second-ever appearance against the Angels.
Doubront is 4-2 on the campaign, although he has won just once in his last six outings. That victory came last weekend versus New York on the road as he limited the Yankees to just a single run on six hits and three walks, fanning six through six innings.
The left-hander previously pitched only a single inning against the Angels in his career, giving up two hits and a walk, striking out one.
Claiming the spotlight in the nightcap will be Clay Buchholz, undefeated on the season in eight decisions. The AL's leader in ERA (1.62), Buchholz has won each of his last two outings, the most recent coming on Sunday versus the Yankees.
In that contest the right-hander was limited to only five innings, permitting a couple of hits and a walk, striking out four, as the team captured a 3-0 triumph.
The Texas native, already just three wins shy of his entire total for the 2012 campaign, has a career mark of 5-3 with a 4.85 ERA against the Angels.
While he may have drawn the short straw against one of the more dominant hurlers in the majors at this point in the season, Anaheim's C.J. Wilson still might be in a good position given his previous history against Boston. In 19 career games, of which he started seven, Wilson has a record of 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA.
However, the left-hander hasn't been as strong this season overall, particularly in the last month with just a 1-4 record while dropping his ERA below four.
Wilson last pitched on Sunday when he allowed three runs on six hits, two of which were home runs, over the course of 7 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to lowly Houston.
These two clubs met a total of six times in the second half of last season, all between Aug. 21-30, with the Angels running the table. The Halos have won eight in a row overall against the Red Sox.