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Orioles-Red Sox series preview: The O’s try to finally win on the road

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After getting swept in a rain-shortened series in Boston in April, the Orioles will look to improve their dreadful road record in a four-game tilt against the Red Sox starting tonight.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles finished the recent homestand with a 5-3 record and they’re coming off a 4-1 loss to the Phillies in an abbreviated one-game series. Now Baltimore heads back on the road, which has not been kind to them so far this season.

They have a 3-16 record away from Camden Yards, with their last road win coming all the way back on April 8 against the Yankees. Away from home, the Orioles offense is hitting .229/.289/.365, and the pitching staff has a 5.51 ERA to go along with a .293 BAA.

The Orioles have faced Boston once so far this year, for a rain-shortened three-game series at Fenway Park April 13-15, in which they were swept. In those three games combined, Baltimore was outscored 20-7.

As of this morning, the Red Sox are 29-14, good for second place in the American League East and 0.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees. The Red Sox are on a one-game winning streak, and they are 5-5 in their last 10.

Boston has been an offensive juggernaut early on this season. As of April 16, they ranked first in the American League in hits (402), first in doubles (102), first in total bases (685) and second in runs (226). On the pitching side, they have the second best ERA in the AL (3.67) and the third best BAA (.233).

Game One: Thursday, 7:10 PM ET

RHP Kevin Gausman (3-2, 3.18 ERA) vs. David Price (3-4, 4.89 ERA)

Kevin Gausman will take the mound on Thursday for the Orioles, looking to keep his recent string of success going. In two May starts, Gausman has a 1.10 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 12 strikeouts versus two walks in 16.1 innings. That includes a nine inning shutout two starts ago on May 5 at Oakland where he took a no-decision. At the beginning of the week, Monday, April 14, Gausman had the eighth best WAR (1.7) in the American League among starting pitchers.

Traditionally, Gausman has pitched well against the Red Sox over the years. In his entire career against Boston, the righty has a 4-6 record, 3.83 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 3.08 SO/W in 80 innings. In his career pitching at Fenway Park, he’s 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 2.54 SO/W in 36.2 innings.

Left-hander David Price will oppose Gausman for the series opener. On May 9, Price was diagnosed with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome, but he did not miss any starts as a result. In his most recent outing since the diagnosis, Price got the win, allowing two runs over 5.1 innings with five hits, three walks and six strikeouts.

Game Two: Friday, 7:10 PM ET

RHP Alex Cobb (0-5, 7.06 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 5.47 ERA)

Alex Cobb returns to Fenway Park, where he had his first and most forgettable start of the season. In that game, on April 14, he went 3.2 innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits with one walk and zero strikeouts. But he has come a long way since then. In his last three starts, Cobb has gone six, six and 5.2 innings; allowing two, one and three earned runs, respectively.

Lefty Drew Pomeranz draws the start for Boston. He has had an uneven year so far, as evidenced by his inflated ERA. In his last start at Toronto, Pomeranz went four innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, with a whopping five walks and six strikeouts. In his career against the Orioles, covering 29.2 innings (five starts), he is 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 3.89 SO/W ratio.

Game Three: Saturday. 7:10 PM ET

RHP Dylan Bundy (2-5, 4.53 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (5-1, 3.28 ERA)

Bundy returned to form in his most recent outing, and he will look to build on that success this time out against the Red Sox. Against Tampa on May 13, Bundy pitched seven shutout innings with two hits, four walks and seven strikeouts. Before that, he had gone three consecutive starts where he gave up at least five earned runs. In his lone start against Boston this year, on April 15, Bundy took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) in 5.2 innings.

Right-hander Rick Porcello will take the hill for the Red Sox in this one. He is coming off a pair of poor outings, where he gave up five runs at New York and five runs against Oakland. Yet Porcello still has a 3.28 ERA, aided by the strength of his early season work where he allowed three runs or less in his first eight starts. In his career against the Orioles, Porcello has not fared that well, pitching to a 4-11 record with a 4.88 ERA over 18 starts.

Game Four: Sunday, 1:05 PM ET

TBD vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1, 4.68 ERA)

Former Orioles minor leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez will start the series finale for the Red Sox. The 25-year-old left-hander took the loss the last time he pitched, allowing three earned runs over five innings against Oakland. His longest outing this year was 6.2 innings against Toronto on April 25. In his career against the team that drafted him, Rodriguez is 4-5 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 60 innings pitched.

As for the Orioles, it’s anyone’s guess who the starter will be. Two potential candidates are minor leaguer David Hess, who had a solid major league debut but got sent back to Norfolk, and Miguel Castro, who has been a real bright spot pitching out of the bullpen.

Poll

How many games will the Orioles win in this series?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    4 (Orioles sweep)
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    3
    (6 votes)
  • 24%
    2
    (32 votes)
  • 36%
    1
    (48 votes)
  • 21%
    0 (Red Sox sweep)
    (28 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now