Series Preview: Orioles @ Red Sox, 04/17-04/20

The good news? Boston is really struggling. The bad news? We go into this series off of a 19-6 loss in Arlington, though we do get a day off.

Friday, 7:10 PM: Jeremy Guthrie v. Brad Penny

Brad Penny has thrown almost 1500 innings in the majors but has never faced the Orioles. Guthrie was 1-2 (4.13/1.67) in four starts against Boston last year, and is 0-1 (3.93/1.64) in three career starts at Fenway.

A couple Orioles have beaten Penny up over their careers. Ty Wigginton is 7-for-18 (.389/.450/.611) with a homer, and Ryan Freel has hit 8-for-19 (.421/.522/.632) with two doubles and four RBIs. So if Freel starts tomorrow, you know why.

Others haven't done so well: Aubrey Huff is 0-for-7, ZAUN is 0-for-3, and Cesar Izturis is 1-for-8. Might be a day to stick Freel at short. Luke Scott is 2-for-3 against Penny.

Guthrie actually has pretty good numbers against most of the Red Sox, but David Ortiz has pounded him a bit (5-for-15 with four doubles and a homer).

Saturday, 7:10 PM: Adam Eaton v. Josh Beckett

Eaton has never faced Boston, but he has faced Josh Beckett plenty of times. Get this: Beckett is 4-for-8 with three doubles against Eaton. I say the Red Sox forfeit the DH and let Josh hit. Ortiz will need a day off.

Last year the O's put the wood to Beckett pretty well, hitting .311 off of him in three games and tacking a 5.60 ERA and 1.64 WHIP onto his total line. He also struck out a batter per inning (18 in 17.2 IP). He's 4-2 (3.73/1.14) in nine career starts against the Birds.

Three O's have some really big numbers against Beckett: Wigginton (8-for-22, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 1.300 OPS), Brian Roberts (8-for-26, four doubles, HR, 4 RBI, 4-for-4 SB) and Luke Scott (5-for-8, HR, 3 RBI, 1.700 OPS).

Beckett was suspended for six games for a pitch that nearly hit Bobby Abreu in the head, but he's appealing, so he'll pitch. (Dig the Sox and Angels fans having a spat!)

Sunday, 1:35 PM: Koji Uehara v. Jon Lester

This one could be rough. Koji was decent in his debut against the Yankees, but the Rangers really beat him up pretty hard in Arlington. Here he'll be facing a lineup that can mash in his first trip to Fenway Park, and he'll be facing a guy that is on his way to becoming the Boston version of Andy Pettitte. Lester is 6-0 in eight starts against the Orioles career (2.81/1.40). Last year he was 3-0 in five starts (2.70/1.33).

Monday, 11:05 AM: TBD

With Alfredo Simon out, who knows who this will be for the O's? Daisuke Matsuzaka is on the DL with "mild arm fatigue." It'll probably be Justin Masterson, or maybe Tim Wakefield.

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