American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, August 14th
(All times eastern)
Boston Red Sox (57-59) at Baltimore Orioles (62-53), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Josh Beckett (5-9, 4.97)
Baltimore - Wei-Yin Chen (10-7, 3.79)
(Sports Network) - Baltimore rookie Manny Machado tries to stay hot this
evening when the Orioles begin a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at
Machado, the third overall pick of the Orioles in the 2010 draft, has quieted
some critics who said he wasn't ready, as he is 6-for-16 since being recalled
on Thursday with three home runs, seven RBI and five runs scored.
The 20-year-old third baseman was named the co-American League Player of the
Week on Monday, sharing the honor with Red Sox slugger Adrian Gonzalez.
He became the youngest Oriole since Jim Palmer in 1965 to hit a homer, and he
also became the youngest in club history to record a multi-homer game on
Friday against Kansas City, breaking Boog Powell's 1962 mark by 223 days.
Machado is just the 15th player since 1918 to have a multi-homer performance
in his first or second major league game, but he was the second to do it this
season, joining San Diego's Yasmani Grandal.
"I was impressed," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Machado. "The scouting
reports we got on him said he had a couple of holes in his swing, but we
couldn't find 'em. He hurt us. He actually won two games against us with
homers. He's going to be a good player."
Machado will take his swings tonight against struggling Boston righty Josh
Beckett, who has just one win in his last 11 starts and is coming off an awful
showing his last time out.
Beckett, who is 5-9 on the year with a 4.97 ERA, was shelled by Texas on
Wednesday for eight runs and eight hits in five innings. His offense bailed
him out, though, and he did not get a decision in his team's 10-9 loss.
He had to leave his previous start with back spasms, but said the back wasn't
an issue against the Rangers.
"The back felt good. Just too many pitches down the middle of the plate and
everything was up," he said.
Beckett has lost his last three starts to the O's and is 7-6 lifetime against
them with a 4.12 ERA in 19 starts.
Baltimore, meanwhile, will counter with Taiwanese righty Wei-Yin Chen, who is
also coming off a horrific outing in his last start. Chen was rocked by Kansas
City on Thursday to the tune of seven runs and nine hits in only 4 2/3
innings, dropping the rookie to 10-7 on the year to go along with a 3.79 ERA.
"He's human," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "He's performed at a very high
level for us, and I think it's more (Kansas City) than it was him."
Chen beat Beckett and the Red Sox back on June 6 when he allowed just one run
in seven innings of work.
Baltimore enters this series having won seven of nine and holds one of the two
wild card spots in the American League, despite its minus-49 in run
differential. Amazingly, the Orioles are 22-6 in one-run games and 12-2 in
Boston, meanwhile, has dropped four of six.
The Orioles are 6-3 against the Red Sox this season.
08/14 10:48:23 ET