The Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox continue an American League East series Friday night at Fenway Park
Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Baltimore’s struggles against Boston continued Thursday night, dropping a 10-4 contest at Fenway Park in the series opener. The Orioles have now lost 20 of their last 25 games at the historic ball park. The club is even more concerned with a mid-season tailspin that has seen it dropped nine of 10 games and 18 of 24. “Frustration is definitely there,” Orioles outfielder Adam Jones commented. “We have to be better than this. There’s nothing more I can say.” Much of the trouble has come offensively with runners in scoring position, entering the weekend series hitting .108 in the first six games of July. Baltimore is 10-31 when playing teams with a winning record this year and 10-19 versus divisional opponents.
Orioles starting pitcher Zach Britton is an even 6-6 with a 3.47 ERA in 17 starts this season and is looking for his first victory since June 8. The left-hander is coming off a no-decision effort versus the Braves on the road, giving up three runs and six hits in five innings. Britton enters with a losing 2-3 mark and 4.54 ERA in seven road starts, issuing 16 walks and allowing 44 hits in 39 2/3 frames. His lone start versus the Red Sox came on April 26 at home, notching a 4-1 victory, allowing a single run and five hits over six innings.
Boston hammered out six home runs last night and the club has now won seven of its last eight games. “We’re swinging the bats great,” said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. “We just have to keep it going.” The Red Sox own a Major League-best 52-29 record since picking up their first win on April 8. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez and third baseman Kevin Youkilis are big reasons for the club’s success, especially at home, leading baseball with .379 and .373 batting averages at Fenway Park respectively. Boston is just 20-18 when playing losing opponents, but 21-10 versus AL East rivals.
Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett has compiled a solid 7-3 mark and 2.12 ERA in 16 starts this season and earned his latest victory in a 2-1 road win at Houston. In that particular start, the right-hander surrendered just a single run and five hits in eight innings, while registering 11 strikeouts. Beckett is a perfect 2-0 with an amazing 1.17 ERA in six home outings, as he’s yet to allow a single home run in 38 1/3 innings. In 15 career starts versus the Orioles, he has tallied a 6-3 record and 3.68 ERA, but Boston has dropped his last three outings against them.
Bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 11-0 mark in Beckett’s last 11 outings as a -200 favorite or more, while the Orioles are 2-5 in Britton’s last seven starts