The depth of the Boston Red Sox lineup has been on display all season, and the team is counting on those hitters to carry them to an American League East title. The Red Sox will try to clinch another series win and increase their advantage in the division when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday in the second of a three-game series.
Boston wasted no time jumping to a big lead in the series opener on Monday as the first five batters all recorded hits in a five-run first inning en route to a 12-2 victory. David Ortiz tied Mickey Mantle for 17th on the all-time home run list (536) in the win while No. 7 hitter and part-time left fielder Chris Young showed off the depth of the lineup by coming up a triple shy of the cycle in a 4-for-4 effort that kept the Red Sox two games clear of the Toronto Blue Jays in the East. The Orioles slipped three games behind Boston with the loss and had its lead over the Detroit Tigers for the second AL wild card trimmed to one game. Baltimore is going to need some length out of starter Dylan Bundy on Tuesday after Monday starter Wade Miley lasted only four outs.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (8-5, 3.82 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (10-11, 3.01)
Bundy got off to a strong start when he was added to the rotation in July but has struggled with his consistency over the last month. The 23-year-old allowed five runs in three of his last five outings, including a rough start at Tampa Bay on Wednesday in which he was knocked out after 3 2/3 innings. Bundy was not at his best against Boston on Aug. 17, when he was rocked for five runs on nine hits – two home runs – in 4 1/3 innings while suffering a loss.
Pomeranz allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven starts but recorded only two wins in that span due to some poor run support. The 27-year-old was given a couple of extra days of rest and will take the mound for the first time since a tough-luck loss at San Diego on Sept. 5 in which he was charged with two runs in 5 2/3 innings against his former team. Pomeranz is making his first career start against Baltimore.
1. Red Sox rookie OF Andrew Benintendi (ankle) will take part in a simulated game on Tuesday and is close to coming off the disabled list.
2. Baltimore RF Mark Trumbo is 2-for-23 in his last six games and homerless in nine straight.
3. Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia has recorded multiple hits in 13 of his last 16 games and is 19-for-27 in his last six contests at home.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2