Orioles Manager Buck Showalter Likes Red Sox’ Chances to Survive, Make Postseason

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Orioles Manager Buck Showalter Likes Red Sox' Chances to Survive, Make Postseason Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter surely recalls his team's last visit to Fenway Park.

The O's were outscored 32-13 in losing four straight games in Boston just before the All-Star break, a lopsided series that featured a bench-clearing brawl, several hit batters, multiple ejections and loads of tension.

What's past is past for Showalter, who is just focused on improving his team and not any measure of payback.

"I don't think people wake up with that mentality. It's such a competitive challenge, playing them and playing in the big leagues in general," he said Monday at Fenway Park. "I think guys that are in the arena realize it's part of the game and it's played by passionate people that care. You hope and pray that the emotion in the game never leaves so you always want to present that you care."

The second-year Baltimore skipper — whose team has won four of its last five games, all against contending teams — still wants his players to remain competitive.

"Because of the schedule we're playing, trying to present a certain amount of competitive integrity," Showalter said. "When we're playing teams like Boston or Tampa or Detroit, you make sure you're presenting a competitive team up front."

After taking two of three from Tampa Bay and then two of three from Anaheim, the Orioles play four in Boston, four in Detroit and then three at home against the Red Sox. Although the Tigers have clinched their division, they can still try for a home-field advantage in a potential ALCS, so every Baltimore opponent has something for which to play.

As for Boston, Showalter feels as if they'll be just fine.

"I think everybody would love to be in their shoes in a lot of ways," Showalter said, citing a two-game lead with 10 to play. "They've got great leadership there with Terry and the players, the talent and the makeup to win. I think every great season, I don't care who it is, I've been fortunate to be on both sides. There's periods when you’re having a tough season when everything's falling into place. You think you've got it going on. When you’re having a great season, over a long period you have some tough stretches.

"The toughest thing in baseball is to finish off a really good season, like they've had, and they will. They've got good people and good leadership, it'll happen. … I know if I was a betting man where I'd lay my odds."

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