(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox could use a lift right about now and will get one when Clay Buchholz is expected to come off the disabled list to pitch Wednesday's finale of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.
Sidelined since late May with a knee injury, Buchholz hopes to turn things around after a few sloppy performances in 10 starts. He is 2-4 with a 7.02 earned run average and winless (0-2) in his past four outings. Buchholz lasted only three innings and gave up six runs in an 8-6 win at Atlanta on May 26, and has allowed 19 runs during his winless drought.
Buchholz, who went 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in two rehab starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, is 1-2 in six road starts and will face Seattle for the fourth times in his career. In three prior starts against the Mariners, the right- hander has a 1-1 record to go along with a 3.26 ERA.
The Red Sox lost another lopsided affair against Seattle and dropped an 8-2 decision on Tuesday, one night after a 12-3 defeat in the series opener. Jake Peavy was dealt the recent loss and allowed seven runs in five innings, falling to 1-6 on the season for Boston, which has lost five of the first six games on this 10-game trek.
"I settled in and felt better. Then I got in trouble and made a bad pitch to Seager and the ball game got away," said Peavy.
Brock Holt hit a two-run homer and Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the loss. Boston is 8 1/2 games off the AL East lead and 15-24 outside the friendly confines of Fenway Park.
The Red Sox, who will close the trip this weekend against the New York Yankees, have scored three runs or less in 10 of the last 11 games.
Seattle aims for a three-game sweep tonight and has won five straight and eight of the last 10 games. The Mariners improved to 15-8 in June with Tuesday's convincing win -- the second straight of its kind -- and received home runs from Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino in the fifth inning.
"Scoring a bunch of runs that inning took a little bit of pressure of a close ball game away," Zunino said.
Seager's was a three-run shot and he finished with four RBI. Endy Chavez went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for Seattle, which is 11-8 in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.
Joe Beimel collected the win in relief of starter Erasmo Ramirez, who permitted two runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The Mariners, winners of five straight at home, have pulled within 5 1/2 games of the top spot in the AL West and will host the Cleveland Indians for three games this weekend.
Hisashi Iwakuma draws the start for the Mariners Wednesday and is 5-3 with a 3.04 earned run average. He didn't have his best stuff in last Friday's 7-5 win at Kansas City, allowing five runs and nine hits in five innings for the no-decision.
Iwakuma, who tossed eight innings of one-run ball with no walks in a win over Texas on June 15, will try to even his 2-3 home mark (6 starts) tonight. In two career starts against the Red Sox, the Japanese right-hander has no record and a 7.27 ERA across 8 2/3 innings.
This series marks the first meeting of the season between Seattle and Boston. The Red Sox went 6-1 in the 2013 series with the Mariners. The Mariners are 41-34 all-time versus the Red Sox in Safeco Field.