MLB Baseball

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Baltimore2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 390
Boston3 0 0 0 1 4 1 0 x 9140
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  W: T. Houck (1-4)   L: M. Baumann (1-1)
10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE11:10 AM CT, September 18, 2021
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 30,027

Red Sox look to remain on roll against Orioles

According to STATS
According to STATS

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

  1. The Red Sox swept the Orioles in their last series meeting (Aug. 13-15) in Boston, marking their sixth sweep of the year, one behind the AL-leading Yankees. The Red Sox are 9-4 against Baltimore overall this year, outscoring the Orioles by 30 runs.
  2. The Orioles are coming off a 3-2 win against the Yankees, snapping a five-game home losing streak, their third such streak of five games or longer this season. Through 146 games, the Orioles -262 run differential is the worst since the St. Louis Browns (-290) in 1939.
  3. Over the Red Sox last seven games, five have been decided by one run. The Red Sox 26 wins by one run rank second in the AL to the Mariners (31). They are coming off two straight wins vs. the Mariners, outscoring them by nine runs.
  4. Austin Hays' six home runs in September are tied for third in the AL behind Salvador Perez and Marcus Semien (seven each). His six home runs and 15 RBI are the most in any month in his career.
  5. Bobby Dalbec is leading the Red Sox in both home runs (four) and RBI (11) in the month of September. He has 14 career RBI against Baltimore in 16 games, the second-most in his career against a single opponent behind his 19 RBI vs. Tampa Bay (18 games).
  6. Chris Sale will look to earn his fourth win of the season after winning each of his first three starts of the season. His last outing was a 11-10 loss to the Rays in which he allowed 10+ hits for just the 11th time in his career.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/17/2021 thru 9/19/2021

Bolstered by a pair of key returns, the Boston Red Sox look to build upon their narrow American League wild-card lead when they host the Baltimore Orioles in the second contest of a three-game series Saturday afternoon.

The Red Sox won the opener 7-1 behind the return of ace left-hander Chris Sale from the COVID-19 injured list. Reliever Matt Barnes also pitched in his first game back from a bout with the virus, as Boston (84-65) seized sole possession of the top wild-card spot courtesy of a Toronto Blue Jays loss.

Still, the Red Sox are ahead of the New York Yankees by only a half-game, while the Blue Jays are just one back. Boston and New York will face off in a pivotal three-game series next weekend.

Until then, the Red Sox will look to take advantage of an Orioles club that reached 100 losses (47-100) for the third time in the last four seasons with Friday's defeat.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta (9-7, 4.55 ERA) gets the nod for Boston in the first of back-to-back matinees. Lefty Zac Lowther (0-2, 9.92) is slated to pitch for Baltimore.

While Sale overcame a drop in velocity to pitch an efficient five innings and earn the win in his return, Barnes' first outing since Aug. 29 was a little spottier. He walked the first man he faced in the eighth and gave up a one-out single before a pop up and strikeout got him out of the jam.

Barnes, who needed 28 pitches in that inning, represents an X-factor for the Red Sox. Getting the right-hander back to his pre-All-Star break form (2.61 ERA) would be a much-needed improvement from his 7.11 ERA in 17 games since.

"To go out there and compete, that's good," said manager Alex Cora of Barnes' performance Friday. "It's a good first step."

A player with little room for improvement of late is Bobby Dalbec, who blasted his 12th home run in his last 28 games in the win. The rookie is slashing .285/.364/.646 in 50 games since the All-Star break.

For the Orioles, Austin Hays was the lone bright spot Friday with a solo home run in the second inning. He's gone deep seven times in 15 games this month.

"He's had a great month," manager Brandon Hyde remarked. "Really happy with the progress he's making, and he's getting a chance to play every day."

Pivetta took a no-decision in his last start, allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox. His last victory came Aug. 13 over Baltimore, when he gave up one run and struck out eight over six innings.

Pivetta is 6-0 with a 2.95 ERA in six career starts against the Orioles.

The rookie Lowther will face the Red Sox for the second time after he was tagged for seven runs in just 2 1/3 innings on May 8. He surrendered seven runs in two innings last time out versus the Blue Jays.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 18, 2021

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