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):
Pitching: John Lackey (6-3, 4.95 ERA)
DH- Miguel Tejada
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.
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.
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