American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, May 6th
(All times eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (18-9) at Boston Red Sox (11-15), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Tommy Hunter (2-1, 4.26)
Boston - Clay Buchholz (3-1, 8.69)
(Sports Network) - Winners of four straight and six of the last seven, the
surprising Baltimore Orioles try to complete a three-game sweep of the
Boston Red Sox this afternoon when the teams clash at Fenway Park.
Having suffered through 14 consecutive losing campaigns, the Orioles appear to
be hitting their stride here in the first week of May thanks to 10 wins in the
last 12 contests overall.
On Saturday the O's kept rolling along with an 8-2 romp over Boston which
means the squad has outscored the Sox and Yankees during this four-game run by
a combined 26-7. Mark Reynolds connected on a three-run homer and Adam Jones
added a two-run shot for Baltimore in the third inning as the visitors blew
the game open with seven runs in the frame.
Starting pitcher Jason Hammel struck out eight while allowing just two runs on
four hits and a walk over 6 2/3 strong innings, en route to his fourth win in
"He was good. He pounded the strike zone with good stuff," Orioles manager
Buck Showalter said of Hammel as the hurler helped Baltimore move to within
1/2 game of Tampa Bay for first place in the American League East.
Chris Davis and Wilson Betemit both chipped in a pair of hits and scored a
collective three runs as the Orioles improved their road record to an
Adrian Gonzalez accounted for three hits and a run for the Red Sox, while
Dustin Pedroia produced two hits for a club that has dropped four in a row and
five of the last six. Boston starter Aaron Cook was tagged for six earned runs
on eight hits and a walk in a mere 2 2/3 innings before being pulled as the
team fell seven games off the pace in the division.
Even though he is again dealing with blister issues, right-hander Clay
is still penciled in as the starter for the Red Sox this afternoon. The six-
year veteran is enjoying a two-game win streak at the moment, even though he
has surrendered a total of 11 earned runs in those two outings.
Most recently Buchholz was on the hill against Oakland earlier in the week and
managed to get through 6 2/3 innings, even as he permitted six runs on seven
hits and five walks, while striking out five. The Texas native has a career
mark of 5-3 with a pair of complete game shutouts versus Baltimore in 10
As for the Orioles, they have Tommy Hunter making the start today. The 25-year
old has won just one of his last four outings, that coming against Toronto on
April 24 at home. More recently the right-hander settled in against Oakland
last weekend, giving up two runs on seven hits over seven innings, failing to
earn a decision in the process.
Hunter, who has given up eight home runs in his last four contests, has a
career mark of 2-1 with a 6.52 ERA versus the Red Sox.
At the plate the Red Sox having been hitting the ball at a .270 clip, third-
best in the AL and fifth in the major, and that certainly looks good on paper
but the bottom line is that the team is batting just .200 over the last week.
The squad has struck out an average of more than nine times per game over the
last six outings.
David Ortiz is the leader across the board for the Sox in average (.360), home
runs (six), RBI (22) and hits (36).
Unfortunately, Ortiz and the rest of the Red Sox have to go up against the top
pitching staff in the American League, the only group of hurlers with an ERA
under 3.25 as they boast a mark of only 2.76 through 27 games.
Since losing all but two of 18 matchups against Boston in 2009, the Orioles
have been balancing the ledger between the squads with them now having split
the last 38 encounters.
05/06 10:29:37 ET