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Red Sox (60-42) at Orioles (44-58)

Tonight is all about David Hernandez. He's got a tough task in front of him in beating the Red Sox's Josh Beckett, the AL leader in wins.

But if any starter currently in the rotation can do it, he can. Consider the options: Brad Bergesen's out for 2 weeks, Jeremy Guthrie can't throw a strike that doesn't end up over a wall somehwere, Jason Berken's just thanking God something actually is wrong with Rich Hill while Chris Tillman's still getting carded at the players' entrance and asking for directions to the clubhouse. The argument can be made that at this moment, David Hernandez is the most consistent pitcher in the Orioles' rotation and this team's best chance to win until 3E comes back. His 3.20 ERA is better than Beckett's, his WHIP is a respectable 1.36, and while his K/BB rate could be better, he's limiting the damage, as evidenced by his ERA.

Yahoo! puts it thusly:

After excellent back-to-back outings at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, Baltimore’s David Hernandez (3-2, 3.20) looks to continue his impressive run. The rookie right-hander limited the Red Sox to one run and five hits with two strikeouts and no walks in seven innings Sunday as the Orioles avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-2 victory.

The 24-year-old retired 16 of the last 17 batters he faced in a 2-1 loss to the Yankees on July 20. Hernandez has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

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W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Josh Beckett 12-4 20 20 3 2 0 0 136.0 119 59 52 10 37 127 3.44 1.15


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - David Hernandez 3-2 8 7 0 0 0 0 45.0 46 16 16 4 15 23 3.20 1.36

BOSTON

1. Jacoby Ellsbury - CF
2. Dustin Pedroia - 2B
3. Victor Martinez - 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis - 3B
5. David Ortiz - DH
6. Jason Bay - LF
7. Jason Varitek - C
8. Josh Reddick - RF
9. Jed Lowrie - SS

BALTIMORE

1. Brian Roberts - 2B
2. Adam Jones - CF
3. Nick Markakis - RF
4. Aubrey Huff - 1B
5. Nolan Reimold - LF
6. Luke Scott - DH
7. Melvin Mora - 3B
8. Matt Wieters - C
9. Cesar Izturis - SS