The Boston Red Sox breezed past the Baltimore Orioles into second place in the American League East on the strength of eight wins in the last 10 games. The Red Sox look to continue their success at the expense of the Orioles on Thursday when the contentious rivals begin a four-game series at Camden Yards.
The Red Sox and Orioles engaged in a testy series last month after Manny Machado’s aggressive slide into second base led to dangerous pitching and a warning from Major League Baseball officials. Machado and the Orioles are in quite the funk, with the former going 0-for-18 with 10 strikeouts in his last four games while the latter had lost eight of nine before posting a 10-4 triumph over the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Adam Jones belted a three-run homer and drove in five runs during that contest in his return from a four-game absence due to a sore hip. A knee injury sidelined Pablo Sandoval for over a month before he returned to the lineup and highlighted a three-hit performance with an RBI single as part of a four-run sixth inning in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (4-1, 2.77 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Wade Miley (1-3, 3.02)
Rodriguez won his third straight outing in impressive fashion, scattering five hits over six innings in a 3-0 victory over Seattle. The 24-year-old has ventured at least six frames in seven straight starts, allowing 11 runs and posting a 2.25 ERA in that span. Rodriguez began that stretch by permitting just one hit and overcoming five walks by striking out seven in a 6-2 win over Baltimore on April 23.
Miley sustained back-to-back losses on Saturday after allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings of a 5-2 setback at Houston. The 30-year-old continues to struggle with his control, issuing 12 walks in his last four outings to increase his season total to 31 in just 53 2/3 innings. Miley was shelled in his lone career outing versus Boston, yielding six runs on eight hits in 1 1/3 innings en route to a 12-2 setback on Sept. 12.
1. Boston SS Xander Bogaerts is 12-for-32 with nine runs scored against Baltimore this season.
2. Orioles 1B Chris Davis has nine hits in nine games versus the Red Sox.
3. Boston OF Andrew Benintendi is 1-for-18 with four strikeouts in his last five games.
PREDICTION: Orioles 4, Red Sox 3