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Red Sox vs. Mariners lineups: Clay Buchholz aims to keep Sox rolling

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Clay Buchholz started this small run of success the Red Sox are enjoying. Can he keep it going before Felix Hernandez shows up?

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are winners of 4-out-of-5 after a tight 2-1 victory over the Mariners Thursday night. Now they'll try to get a fifth in against J.A. Happ and get back to .500 before they have to face the tall task of Felix Hernandez on Saturday.

BOSTON RED SOX (17-18) SEATTLE MARINERS (15-19)
Mookie Betts - CF Seth Smith - LF
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Brad Miller - SS
David Ortiz - DH Robinson Cano - 2B
Hanley Ramirez - LF Nelson Cruz - RF
Mike Napoli - 1B Kyle Seager - 3B
Shane Victorino - RF Justin Ruggiano - CF
Pablo Sandoval - 3B Logan Morrison - 1B
Xander Bogaerts - SS Rickie Weeks - DH
Sandy Leon - C Mike Zunino - C
Clay Buchholz - RHP J.A. Happ - LHP

While Happ is obviously not Hernandez, he's pitching better to start 2015 than he has in any year before. Through six games, Happ holds a 3.29 ERA, nearly a full run below his career average of 4.20. He's allowed more than two runs in an outing just once, two starts ago in Houston. Since then he's managed a solid-if-short performance against Oakland, so the Red Sox--who have done a terrible job at hitting lefties thus far this season--won't even have the benefit of facing him while he's off-balance.

The same might be said about Clay Buchholz, but even if his last performance was the best he's had in weeks, it was nothing to write home about. It's been a long while since we've seen anything from Buchholz that ventured into the realm of truly encouraging. A legitimately good outing would be a welcome sight indeed,;a sight worth hoping for, if not one we can reasonably expect.

First pitch is at 10:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.