Series Preview: Orioles (15-8) @ Red Sox (13-11)

While the Orioles’ first trip to the Bronx this season was a rough one, they can at least head to Boston on a semi-high note after Sunday’s extra-innings win to avoid the sweep.

And I swear, that was the last time I’ll bring up this past weekend. Probably.

Moving forward, the O’s will end their seven-game road swing with a four-game set at Fenway.

The Orioles (15-8) are now tied with the Bronx Bombers for first in the division as we head into May, and carry a solid 7-5 mark away from Camden Yards and a stellar 13-7 record against the AL East.

The Red Sox (13-11) enter May in third place and 2.5-games out of first in the standings, but will be hoping for a repeat of last season when they posted an 18-10 record in May to rally back to the top of the table. The ‘Sox, in the middle of a nine-game home stand, had dropped back to back games against the Yankees before rebounding and taking two of three from the reigning champion Chicago Cubs.

This will mark the third meeting between the two clubs of the 2017 season, with the Orioles holding a slim 3-2 lead. This will also mark the second trip to Fenway for the Orioles after splitting a two-game set in Boston during the second week of the season.

Will the co-division leaders gain even more ground on third place over the four-game set, or will the hosts begin their climb up the standings?

Let’s take a look at the projected starters:

 

Game One

Orioles ace Dylan Bundy (3-1, 1.65 ERA) will take the mound in the series opener versus 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (1-3, 4.75 ERA).

Bundy has been nothing short of spectacular this season for the O’s, and will look to continue his remarkable run of form into his third start of the season versus the Red Sox. Bundy has allowed just three earned runs over 13 1/3 innings in his two outings against the ‘Sox this season, and blanked them over seven innings in a 2-0 win on April 21st.

Porcello, coming off a Cy Young award, posted a 7.56 ERA through his first three starts of the season before finally hitting his stride as of late. He’s allowed just two earned runs over his last 13 2/3 innings, which has seen his era drop from 7.56 to 4.75, but has ended up in the loss column in his last two starts.

 

Game Two

Alec Asher (1-0, 2.16 ERA) will get the nod against Chris Sale (1-2, 1.19 ERA) on Tuesday.

Asher will make his second start for the Orioles this season after shutting down the Blue Jays to the tune of just a single run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings on April 15th. The former Phillie will be looking for a repeat performance, as Chris Tillman‘s rehab assignment draws close to an end.

Sale has been worth every penny for the ‘Sox this season. He’s went seven-plus innings with two earned runs or less in all five of his starts this season and has racked up ten-plus strikeouts in four straight starts. He also ranks third in the majors in WHIP (0.77), second in innings pitched (37.2) and ERA (1.19), and first in K’s (52).

 

Game Three

Kevin Gausman (1-2, 7.50 ERA) will take the ball against Drew Pomeranz (2-1, 4.15 ERA) in Wednesday’s contest.

Gausman will be looking to snap out of a nasty three-game skid in which his ERA has skyrocketed from a steady 3.94 to an ugly 7.50. During that stretch, Gausman is 0-2 with a 11.57 ERA. He looked to be turning things around on Friday night, as he held New York to just one run over his first five innings of work. Unfortunately, he was charged with four more over his final 1+ innings pitched, for five earned in 6.0 innings total.

Pomeranz will be making his fifth start of the 2017 campaign, and his third already against the Orioles. In his first two starts versus Baltimore this season, the former Padre has gone 1-1 while allowing just three runs over 11 1/3 innings.

 

Game Four

Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 7.43 ERA) will take the mound in the series finale on Thursday versus Steven Wright (1-3, 8.25 ERA).

Jimenez endured a brutal month of April which saw him pitch 4 1/3 innings or less in four of his five outings. Jimenez will be looking to erase the memory of his last two starts in which he’s allowed nine runs on three homers over just 6 2/3 innings.

Wright won’t be looking forward to facing the Orioles again, but that’s why they get paid the big bucks. Over his first two outings versus Baltimore this season, the knuckleballer has allowed a dreadful 12 runs on 17 hits over just five innings of work while giving up six homers in the process.

 

Notes

Adam Jones is hitting .375 with a homer and five RBI over his last nine games, and may be in line for a big week. He’s posted a .244 average with three homers and nine RBI against Porcello, a .308 lifetime average versus Sale, a .273 average versus Pomeranz and has tagged Wright with a .286 average, two homers and five RBI.

Mark Trumbo, who flashed signs of a breakout in the Bronx, carries a career .308 average with three homers and seven RBI versus Pomeranz going into Monday’s clash. Believe it or not, he’s also posted a .357 average with a home run and three RBI lifetime versus Sale as well.

Jonathan Schoop will bring a six-game hitting streak with him into Fenway Park and has recorded a stellar .344 average with five doubles, four homers and 14 RBI over his last 17 games.

Welington Castillo is quickly becoming a key piece of this 2017 Orioles squad, and he just seems to get better and better as he settles into his environment. After a big day in the Bronx on Sunday, Castillo now carries a five-game hitting streak with him into Boston. During that span, he’s gone 8-for-23 (.347) at the plate with four runs, one homer (his first as an Oriole) and three RBI.

 

That’s it for now, Orioles fans! Enjoy the series!

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Logan Quick. Bookmark the permalink.

About Logan Quick

Logan Quick
Logan Quick is a 23-year-old journalist from Harford County, Maryland. Loves hockey so much, there's ice in his veins, not blood. Breathes soccer. Kind of wishes he lived in Barcelona. Oh yeah, and his love for music, especially 1960's and 70's rock and roll, is unwavering. Also a lover of...more

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