Red-Hot Ace Jon Lester Looks to Improve to11-0 Against Orioles


Red-Hot Ace Jon Lester Looks to Improve to11-0 Against Orioles How will the Red Sox follow up Clay Buchholz’s complete game gem on Friday night? Well, if the past is any indication, we should expect more of the same.

Jon Lester was not only lights out in May, but he has been lights out throughout his career against the Orioles. His will be trying to improve to a perfect 11-0 against the O’s and will look to start off the month of June on a good note.

Life has been good recently for the Red Sox. Despite a minor setback in a split to the Kansas City Royals, the Sox have rebounded by taking two of three over the Oakland Athletics and the first game of a three-game series against the Orioles, 11-0

The reason?

Everything seems to be clicking. The Red Sox starters are dealing, and the offense is beginning to score runs.

Jeremy Guthrie will have the tall task of cooling down the Sox on Saturday.

When and Where

Red Sox (32-24) at Orioles (15-40)
Saturday, June 5, 7:05 p.m.
Camden Yards, Baltimore

Head to Head

The Sox have won 10 of the last 11 season series. The Red Sox are 3-4 against the Orioles this season.

Pitching Matchup

LHP Jon Lester (6-2, 2.97 ERA) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-5, 3.84 ERA)

Lester has been fantastic of late. After dropping his first two decisions of 2010, Lester has gone an undefeated 6-0 since. In May, he was 5-0 with a minuscule 1.84 ERA, dropping his season ERA from 4.71 to 2.97. He has also struck out nine batters or more in three of his last four outings.

Throughout his career, Lester has dominated the Orioles, to say the least.

In 13 career starts against the O’s, Lester is 10-0 with a 2.22 ERA.

Guthrie enters Saturday’s game having won three of his last four decisions. The 31-year-old’s eight quality starts this season has him tied for third in the AL in that category.

In 12 career starts against the Red Sox, Guthrie is 1-5 with a 4.72 ERA.

Lester and Guthrie already faced off earlier in the season on April 23. Lester pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles, allowing only four hits, but received a no decision. Guthrie pitched six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, and also received a no decision. The Red Sox won the game 4-3, after Adrian Beltre walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning.

LINEUPS

Orioles Red Sox
Corey Patterson, LF
Miguel Tejada, SS
Nick Markakis, RF
Ty Wiggington, 1B
Matt Wieters, C
Adam Jones, CF
Garrett Atkins, DH
Julio Lugo, 2B
Cesar Izturis, SS

Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Victor Martinez, 1B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Josh Reddick, CF
Bill Hall, LF

Black and Blue

Red Sox

  • Jeremy Hermida left Friday’s game with a bruised left forearm and was replaced by Darnell McDonald.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is in Baltimore with the team, but is on the 15-day disabled list with rib soreness, retroactive to May 25.
  • Outfielder Mike Cameron missed his third consecutive game on Friday as he continues to recover from an abdominal strain. He was feeling much better, though, and may have been used as a pinch hitter had the game been close.
  • Starter Josh Beckett is still recovering from a back injury, and it could be 10 days before he resumes baseball activities.
  • Pitcher Boof Bonser’s 30-day rehab stint following a groin injury ends soon. He is continuing to pitch at Triple-A Pawtucket.
  • Jed Lowrie was on the field at Fenway Park last week, but he continues to battle mononucleosis.

Orioles

  • Second baseman Brian Roberts was expected to play in an extended spring training game on Friday, but suffered a minor setback. On the DL since April 10, Roberts is still expected to return later this month.
  • Closer Mike Gonzalez threw a bullpen session this week and could return in a couple of weeks.
  • Outfielder Felix Pie is expected to be out until July with a torn muscle in his back
  • Reliever Alfredo Simon is on the DL with a strained left hamstring, and is eligible to return on Tuesday.

Stat Sheet

Red Sox

  • After only two home runs in his first 213 at-bats, shortstop Marco Scutaro has homered in back-to-back games. He is hitting .405 in his last eight games (15-for-37).
  • Catcher Victor Martinez has had two or more hits in his last three starts, including three on Friday, and has seen his average rise to the highest it’s been since the second game of the season (.294)
  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis’ home run on Friday was his 16th career home run against the Baltimore Orioles. His 16 home runs and 62 RBIs against the O’s are his most against any team in the majors.

Orioles

  • Starter Jeremy Guthrie only has one win in 12 career starts against the Red Sox.
  • Miguel Tejada’s last home run was against the Red Sox on April 30, a stretch of 32 games and 126 at-bats.
  • Ty Wigginton has more home runs (12) against the Red Sox in his career than any other team. His 13 on the season has him tied for fourth in the AL.

Outlook

Red Sox starters have been terrific lately. They have lasted at least six innings in the last six games, which has allowed the bullpen to receive its necessary rest. Jon Lester, along with Friday night’s starter Clay Buchholz, has been leading the charge. After losing two of his first three starts and seeing his ERA skyrocket to 8.44, Lester has bounced back in a big way and now looks poised to make a bid at his first All-Star appearance.

The Red Sox are 21-10 over their last 31 games, and appear to be clicking on all cylinders. With the Orioles in the midst of their worst start since 1988, and Lester pitching the way he is, the Red Sox certainly have the advantage heading into the second game of this three game series at Camden Yards — the Red Sox home away from home.

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