Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles in the final game of the regular season and close a three-game American League East Wednesday night the series to the Orioles in Camden Park Yards.Boston enter tonight with a part of the AL wild card lead and is likely headed to Tampa Bay for a playoff game on a Thursday afternoon. That of course depends on the results of tonight’s game in Baltimore and Tampa Bay. “I think it’s really good for baseball, not so good for the stomach,” said Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona. The Red Sox have gone directly into the tank in the last month of the season, arriving with a 7-19 record in September, but coming away with a 8-7 victory last night. Boston is 45-35 in away games this year and 38-33 when they face division foes.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester is 15-9 with an ERA of 3. 49 in 30 starts this season, but enters a run of three straight losses, allowing 16 hits and 21 over 13 2 / 3 innings in that period. The left-hander has recorded an impressive 10-4 mark and 3.49 ERA in 17 road starts, and opponents are hitting just .218 against him. Lester faces the Orioles for the 18th time in this race, that arrive with a perfect 14-0 record and 2.33 ERA, including a 7-0 mark at Camden Yards. He is 1-0 with an ERA of 2.25 against them this year, allowing two runs and four hits in eight frames.
Baltimore is only playing the role of spoiler for the final regular season as the team has won five of their last eight games. The Baltimore Orioles faced the Boston Red Sox all the way into the middle game of this series, so the closer Jonathan Papelbon throwing 28 pitches in the final frame. “I think we all felt like we’d like to make a run at them, and we have done in the course of the game,” said Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter. In the last 33 games against Boston, the club recorded a 16-17 record, including a 9-8 mark at home tonight.
Orioles starter Alfredo Simon is 4-9 with a 4.85 ERA in 22 games (15 starts) this season and seek their first win since Aug. 23. The right-hander recorded a 2-4 record and 4.63 ERA in 12 home games (eight starts), giving nine homers in 58 1 / 3 innings. Simon will make his eighth career appearance (second exit) against the Red Sox, who arrive with a 0-1 mark and 5.59 ERA, including a 4-0 defeat on the road July 9th. He allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 2 / 3 frames in that particular effort. Bettors are likely to back the Red Sox because of their 23-3 record over the past 26 Lester starts as a favorite of -200 or higher, while the Orioles are 2-9 in their last home games against left-handed openers to 11.
(by Jeff Mattingly Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles)