The Baltimore Orioles, who has lost seven of their last eight, travel to Fenway Park to take on the up and coming Red Sox. Bobby Valentine’s club has won six of their last nine, including taking three of four from the powerful Tigers.
The Orioles are still sixth in the Majors with a .430 slugging percentage and Matt Wieters hit his first homer from the right side of the plate against the Rays on June 3rd.
But the question fans have is can the Orioles show some pride and get out of this slump, or are they well on their way to their 15th straight losing season?
Tuesday June 5th: Jason Hammel (6-2) vs. Jon Lester (3-4)
Game one pits Hammel, who suffered his second loss of the season against the Jays last Tuesday night, against a Red Sox lineup who is only hitting .174 against the 29 year old righty on the season. On May 5th, Hammel picked up the win in Boston after going 6 2/3-innings and only allowing two runs.
Jon Lester has been an Oriole killer since joining the Red Sox in 2006, but that has not been the case in 2012. In his lone start against the O’s this season, Lester five hits and three earned as Baltimore won 6-4 in extra innings. Opponents are hitting .273 off of Lester this year, and even with Nick Markakis sidelined with a bum wrist, the Orioles still have plenty of power to get to the Red Sox lefty.
Wednesday June 6th: Wei-Yin Chen (4-2) vs. Josh Beckett (4-5)
Chen struggled in the first inning of his June 1st outing against the Rays. He allowed five runs, but settled in as he went 4 2/3- innings more, but didn’t get any run supports as the O’s fell 5-0. Chen has lost two straight and is playing more like the 26 year old rookie everyone expected. He has not faced the Sox this season.
Beckett has had an up and down season thus far. After being called out by fans and the media after going golfing when he was scratched from a start May 2nd, he would face the Indians on May 10th and rack up a 5.97 ERA in a Boston loss. He is 2-2 in the month of May and has a 2.91 ERA over his last three starts while striking out 11. This will be the first time he meets Buck Showalter’s team on the season.
Thursday June 7th: Brian Matusz (5-5) vs. Clay Buchholz (5-2)
Matusz has been on fire as of late posting a 2.29 ERA and 21 strikeouts over his last three starts, including the only win in their last eight games, on June 2nd against the Rays. Matusz has faired pretty well against Boston since he came in to the league in 2009. He has posted a 3-1 record, a 3.58 ERA, and 38 strikeouts. He picked up a win against the Sox on May 22nd, throwing two-hit ball over 6 1/3-innings.
Clay Buchholz comes in with a less-than-stellar 6.58 ERA, but has been getting run support as his record would dictate. He likes pitching against the Birds, having thrown a no-hitter back on September 1st, 2007. Buchholz has a 5-3 career record against Baltimore with a 4.16 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Matt Wieters is .429 in 14 career at-bats against Buchholz.
By the Numbers: