Red Sox Go for Third Consecutive Win, Series Sweep Against Orioles

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April 25, 2010

Red Sox Go for Third Consecutive Win, Series Sweep Against OriolesRed Sox Go for Third Consecutive Win, Series Sweep Against Orioles The Red Sox will aim for their first series sweep of the season against, who else, the Baltimore Orioles when the teams meet in a Fenway Park matinee.

Despite falling behind early Saturday night, the Sox rallied and then held on for a 7-6 win over the O's. It was Boston's 10th straight victory in the series, and came despite being outhit 17-9.

Sunday's finale features what could be the last start for Tim Wakefield before he heads to the bullpen. The team has not made any official announcements on that, but reports have indicated that Wakefield will take on a role as a reliever when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns from the disabled list next weekend.

WHEN AND WHERE

Orioles (2-16) vs. Red Sox (8-10)
Sunday, April 25, 1:35 p.m. (NESN)
Fenway Park, Boston

HEAD TO HEAD

The Sox are now 57-17 against the Orioles since the start of the 2006 season.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP David Hernandez (0-3, 4.67 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (0-1, 6.38 ERA)

Are we seeing Tim Wakefield's last start of the season already? Not likely. He'll be back to take someone's place at some point due to an injury or ineffectiveness, but for now it appears as if the knuckleballer is headed to the bullpen when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns.

If this is his final start for some time, Wakefield will want better results than his last two outings. He has given up 12 runs — 11 earned — in 11 1/3 innings since a dominant effort in his 2010 debut back on April 9.

The 43-year-old is 15-13 with four saves and a 4.10 ERA against Baltimore. He has not faced the O's since July 12, 2008. Hard to imagine.

Hernandez won a spot in the Baltimore rotation this spring. He has lost each of his three starts while receiving a grand total of three runs of support.

LINEUPS

Orioles Red Sox
Nolan Reimold, LF
Adam Jones, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Miguel Tejada, 3B
Luke Scott, DH
Ty Wigginton, 2B
Rhyne Hughes, 1B
Craig Tatum, C
Cesar Izturis, SS
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Jonathan Van Every, CF

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Boston has six home runs and 17 runs scored in the seventh inning this year. It has scored as many as 10 in just one other frame, the fifth.
  • With his appearance Saturday night, closer Jonathan Papelbon passed Derek Lowe and moved into fifth place on the team's all-time list for appearances. Papelbon has pitched in 274 games for the Sox.
  • Dustin Pedroia snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a single in the fourth Saturday.

Orioles

  • Baltimore has stranded 23 runners in the first two games of the series.
  • Ty Wigginton has six of the Orioles' last 10 home runs.
  • The O's are 1-6 in one-run games.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • A CT scan done on left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury revealed hairline fractures in four ribs. He is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list April 27. Team officials said his treatment plan will not change and he will resume play only when his symptoms are gone.
  • Manager Terry Francona said Friday that Daisuke Matsuzaka will return to pitch at some point in the Baltimore series next weekend, but has not confirmed exactly when. In three rehab starts in the minors while recovering from a neck strain, the right hander was 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA.
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a sports hernia. His term is retroactive to April 19. Both he and Ellsbury will travel with the team to Toronto if they are able to perform any baseball-related activities.

Orioles

  • Closer Mike Gonzalez will not need surgery on his shoulder. He is expected to start a rehab program in Florida and could be ready in mid-March.
  • Second baseman Brian Roberts went on the DL on April 10 with a strained abdominal muscle. He is out until May.
  • Outfielder Felix Pie is out three months with a torn muscle in his back.

OUTLOOK

Regardless of what his future with the team holds, Wakefield could use a quality start. The Texas Rangers ran wild on him in his previous start Tuesday, stealing a franchise record nine bases by the fifth inning.

It is key for Wakefield to have his control. He walked five Rangers, giving them the green light on the base paths.

For the O's, who rank last in the American League in stolen bases, a win is a must at some point. They play their next 13 games against Boston, the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins.

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