The Baltimore Orioles will play host to the American League East champion Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards, in a final three-game series to close out the 2013 regular season schedule.
Though the O’s were eliminated from postseason contention on Tuesday, the Orioles and Red Sox have had some pretty dramatic moments in recent memory.
A brawl broke out in a game at Fenway Park in July 2011, that season in September the Orioles would eliminate Boston from playoff contention, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz smashed a phone in the visiting dugout in July, and just last week the Orioles rallied in the final inning to snap Red Sox closer Koji Uehara ‘s streak of 37-straight batters retired to beat the Sox, 3-2.
After securing their second consecutive winning season Wednesday night, the Orioles (83-76) are only playing for pride. Meanwhile, the Red Sox (96-63) are still battling the Oakland Athletics for the best record in the AL.
The Red Sox are the only AL East team the Orioles do not have a losing record against in 2013. They are 8-8 against Boston, 4-3 at home.
First baseman Chris Davis has already set a team record for home runs in a season with 52 and counting. He is also tied with Miguel Cabrera for the most RBIs in the AL with 137. Against the Red Sox this season, Davis is batting .234 with six homers and 16 RBIs. Davis sat out Thursday’s game due to sore foot and is considered day-to-day.
Jim Johnson recorded his 48th save of the season on Thursday. He leads the AL in saves and trails Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves by one save for the most in the MLB. If Johnson can record two saves in the final series against the Red Sox, he would become the second reliever (Eric Gagne) in MLB history with consecutive 50-save seasons .
Probable pitchers (subject to change):
The series opens on Friday when Scott Feldman (12-11, 3.51 ERA) will match up against Clay Buchholz (11-1, 1.60 ERA). In his last 10 starts, Feldman has a 3-4 record and a 3.06 ERA — he has held opponents to three runs or fewer in eight consecutive starts. Buchholz has not pitched against the O’s since Apr. 8, when he lasted seven innings and allowed no runs on three hits, while striking out eight Orioles.
In the final night game for the Orioles, two lefties will get the start. For the Orioles, Wei-Yin Chen (7-7, 4.03 ERA) gets the nod. Chen’s last win came back on Aug. 21 against Tampa Bay. Since that start, Chen has made six starts and has allowed 23 runs in 30 innings pitched. The Sox will send Jon Lester (15-8, 3.67 ERA) to the mound. Lester opened his career 14-0 against the O’s, but finally lost on June 16. Since that loss Lester is 1-1 against Baltimore. In his most recent start (Aug. 29) he allowed three runs on five hits in a loss at Fenway Park.
The Orioles will wrap up their regular season with Chris Tillman (16-7, 3.62 ERA) opposing John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA). Tillman is seeking to become the first Orioles pitcher to win 17 games in a season since Mike Mussina in 1999. Lackey pitched a complete game against the O’s on Sept. 19 — his no hitter was broken up in the seventh inning on an Adam Jones home run.