At the start of this series, we would have all considered ourselves lucky for the Orioles to get out of Boston having won two out of three. Since they've started out by winning two out of two, it'll now feel like a disappointment if they don't make it a sweep.
From all season, we know that they have a tendency to not get the sweep. The third game of a series when the Orioles have won the first two has often been one of "those" losses, the frustrating ones, the ones you wish they could get back. One more win and they take the season series against the division leader. Tonight would be a good time to get that win. As they've needed to do for a month and a half, they must keep pace.
It's up to Chris Tillman to turn in a solid effort to give them the best chance to do that tonight. He has started four games against the Red Sox this season, he has pitched 25.1 innings while allowing only four runs. If you've got that Mark Brown brand of optimism, you know that this means he's due to turn in a clunker. This is even more true because against this collection of Red Sox hitters, Tillman has allowed a slash line of only .183/.255/.244, numbers so bad they would even embarrass Nick Markakis.
The only Red Sox hitter to have a home run in his career against Tillman is Shane Victorino, who is not in the starting lineup.
Boston starter John Lackey has seen the Orioles three times this year, pitching 20.2 innings while giving up ten runs. You'd think that kind of performance would play with Boston's offense, but he has a 9-12 record despite a 3.56 ERA. Why they seldom score runs for Lackey is a great mystery. Orioles fans hope the trend continues tonight.
Manny Machado (11 PA), Adam Jones (40 PA), and Chris Davis (28 PA) all have a pair of home runs in their careers against Lackey. Adding another tonight would be just fine.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||BOSTON RED SOX|
|Nate McLouth (L) - LF||Dustin Pedroia (R) - 2B|
|Manny Machado (R) - 3B||Daniel Nava (S) - RF|
|Chris Davis (L) - 1B||David Ortiz (L) - DH|
|Adam Jones (R) - CF||Mike Napoli (R) - 1B|
|Nick Markakis (L) - RF||Mike Carp (L) - LF|
|Danny Valencia (R) - DH||Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S) - C|
|Matt Wieters (S) - C||Will Middlebrooks (R) - 3B|
|J.J. Hardy (R) - SS||Stephen Drew (L) - SS|
|Brian Roberts (S) - 2B||Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) - CF|