After taking two of three against the A’s and finishing a six-game home stand at an even 3-3, The Orioles will now make a mini-road trip up to Fenway for the last time this season before returning home for a crucial ten-game home stand.
The Orioles (62-65) are pretty much light years behind the Red Sox for the division title at this point in the season, but they remain just three games behind the Twins for the final wild card slot in the American League. After earning two big notches in the win column versus a scrappy Oakland squad, the Orioles will enter the final week of August with an even 11-11 record this month. However, their struggles while on tour this season has proven to be the team’s Achilles heel. The O’s are 6-9 over their last fifteen contests away from Camden Yards and have gone 24-39 on the road in 2017.
The Red Sox (73-53) are set to host the Birds in sparkling form and will be looking to boost their already incredible 15-4 record since the turn of August. As a result of their stellar play, the ‘Sox now stand at a season-high twenty games above .500 and boast the AL’s second-best record. They have also stretched their lead to 4.5 games over the Yankees for the division title and trail the Astros by just four games for the AL’s top ranking.
The Orioles will be looking to stay alive and make up some valuable ground over their third and final trip to Fenway this season. The O’s own a slight 7-6 advantage over the ‘Sox this year, but the teams stand split at 3-3 over six games in Boston.
Will the hosts move closer to wrapping up the division title as we draw closer to September, or will the Orioles provide a massive spark to their wild card ambitions over the weekend?
We’re about to find out. Let’s go to the starters.
Hellickson was roughed up during his last outing versus the Angels and allowed seven runs on eight hits over just 4 2/3 innings. Over his first four starts as an Oriole, Hellickson has posted a 1-2 record and a 6.35 ERA. The former Tampa Bay Ray will be looking to bounce back against a familiar foe, as he’s gone 4-4 with a 4.78 ERA over fifteen career starts versus Boston.
Porcello turned in yet another good start by allowing just a single run on three hits over six innings versus the Yankees en route to his eighth win of the season last weekend. The former Cy Young award winner has hit top form as of late with a 3-0 record and a 2.84 ERA over his last three outings. He’s also posted a solid 4-3 record and a 3.77 ERA over seven starts since the All-Star Break.
Gausman wasn’t at his best during his last start versus Anaheim and allowed five runs on six hits over five innings, but he’s been really on his game for a while now. Over his last eleven starts, Gausman has posted an impressive 6-2 record along with a sturdy 3.69 ERA. Over his last seven outings, He’s notched a 4-2 record and a stellar 2.66 ERA.
Rodriguez turned in a decent outing during his last start versus Cleveland and allowed three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. While he’s posted just four wins in seventeen starts this season, he’s been hit with a bout of bad luck as well. Over four starts this month, his record still stands at 0-0 despite the southpaw notching a stout 3.52 ERA. Rodriguez is also still undefeated at Fenway on the year with a 1-0 record and a solid 3.79 ERA over seven starts.
Tillman returned to the rotation after a seventeen-day exile to the bullpen last Sunday versus the Halos and allowed four runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. The O’s veteran is currently on a fifteen-start winless streak, and hasn’t been in the win column since his season debut versus the White Sox on May 7th.
Fister turned in a gem of a performance en route to holding the Indians to just a single run on one hit over a dominant complete-game victory. Fister now owns a 2-1 record and a solid 4.12 ERA over his last three outings. Over eight career starts versus the Orioles, the veteran owns a 4-2 record along with a 4.47 ERA.