Extra Bases

Game 58: Red Sox at Orioles

Looks like a hot, humid day here in Baltimore with the threat of thunder storms later in the afternoon. Red Sox look to sweep the hapless Orioles.

Game Time: 1:35, NESN.

Red Sox (33-24):
SS-Marco Scutaro
2B-Dustin Pedroia
DH-David Ortiz
1B-Kevin Youkilis
C-Victor Martinez
3B-Adrian Beltre
LF-Bill Hall
CF-Mike Cameron
RF-Darnell McDonald

Pitching: John Lackey (6-3, 4.95 ERA)

Orioles (15-41):
2B-Julio Lugo
DH- Miguel Tejada
RF-Nick Markakis
1B-Ty Wigginton
LF-Luke Scott
CF-Adam Jones
3B-Scott Moore
C-Craig Tatum
SS-Cesar Izturis

Pitcher-Brian Matusz (2-6, 5.28)

State of the Red Sox: Nothing could be finer. The Sox have pulled to within 3-1/2 games of the AL East lead, winning the first two here in Baltimore and trying for a sweep today. The Sox have outrscored the Orioles 19-2 and would have shut them out both games had it not been for Joe Nelson’s 9th-inning meltdown. Sox starters have only allowed nine hits in 16-1/3 innings. Mike Cameron is in the starting lineup, a sign that health is returning to the team.

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About Lackey: If Lackey wins his 7th game the Sox would be the only team in baseball with three pitchers with 7 or more wins. Lackey has allowed three runs or less and has gone at least seven innings in each of his last six starts against Baltimore.

O’s hitters vs. Lackey: The guys he has to worry about are Nick Markakis, who is 10-for-28 against him; Luke Scott, who is 3-for-10 with two home runs; MIguel Tejada who is 12-for-39 (.308) and Matt Wieters who is 4-for-12.

Sox hitters vs. Matusz: Beltre and Cameron will make their debuts against Matusz. Scutaro went 1-for-4 with two RBI in his first start vs. Matusz. Not much of a sample size here.

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Ortiz Stuff: Ortiz has hit 40 homers since he hit his first ion May 20 of last season. Only Miguel Cabrera (43) has hit more in that time frame.

Just in case: Jonathan Papelbon hasn’t been needed in this series but if he is, he comes in with a 0.84 ERA against the Orioles (3 ER in 32 innings) in 34 games. That’s the best opponent ERA against the Orioles in their history.

Umpires: HP-James Hoiye; 1B-Wally Bell; 2B-Laz Diaz; 3B-Vic Carapazza

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