Rob Long: Setting The Tone
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The Baltimore Orioles got off to an excellent start in the first game of a four-game set against the Boston Red Sox Thursday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Birds won 5-4 in 13 innings on an opposite field single off the bat of Major League Baseball’s leading slugger, Chris Davis.
The O’s send Chris Tillman (6-2 3.89 ERA) on the mound tonight to continue the positive momentum against the Sox. The Orioles are 16-6 against Boston since ending their play-off hopes in the season finale in 2011. The Red Sox, along with other American League East foes, once owned head to head match-ups against Adam Jones and company. However, Buck Showalter’s guys have sported a 58-43 record in the division since the start of the 2012 season.
This weekend’s series gives one of these two teams a chance to make a huge statement in the AL East. The Birds were able to make a post-season run while Boston was in turmoil last season, but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year. The Red Sox have quickly turned things around and now seemed poised to challenge for the division. I expect the Yard to have a play-off atmosphere this weekend.