After a much-needed victory on Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox head to Baltimore looking to gain any kind of traction they can.
The Red Sox ended a nine-game losing streak with a 6-3 home victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, and now they will try to improve on their 3-8 road record. They are tied for the fewest road victories in the American League.
The Orioles will welcome the Red Sox amid their own doldrums. Baltimore was just swept by the Toronto Blue Jays at home and has lost four consecutive games and five of six. The Orioles are just 4-11 in their own ballpark this season.
It appears to be just the kind of opponent the Red Sox could use. Their last victory before Wednesday came on Aug. 9, and they are just 7-18 while fast approaching the midway point of the shortened 60-game regular season.
The Red Sox finally received some solid pitching Wednesday, but it has been rare of late. Boston pitching has been torched for double-digit runs in four of the past seven games, allowing an average of 9.1 runs along the way.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-2, 5.93 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston on Thursday. He was roughed up Saturday at New York against the Yankees, giving up eight runs on nine hits with two walks in 5 1/3 innings. The Yankees took an 11-5 victory, one day they won 10-3.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, who is in his first season with the club. “These are about as bad of results as you can possibly imagine. A lot of things have not gone well. That’s just the fact of the matter. It’s extremely disappointing. We’re all competitive. We all like to win, and we hate losing.”
Eovaldi is 4-1 lifetime against the Orioles with a 5.10 ERA in 10 starts.
The Orioles will counter with right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (1-2, 4.34 ERA), who enters off his first victory of the season. Wojciechowski gave up three runs on five hits over five innings in a 7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.
Wojciechowski has pitched well against the Red Sox in his career, going 2-1 with a 0.92 ERA in four appearances (three starts). He had two scoreless starts against the Red Sox last season, including giving up one hit in 7 1/3 innings on July 21.
The Orioles have not won since his last outing.
The Blue Jays used solid pitching and four home runs in three games from Randal Grichuk to earn a series sweep at Camden Yards. Grichuk hit two home runs Wednesday afternoon as the Orioles dropped a 5-2 decision.
The Orioles’ Anthony Santander is doing his part. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning double Wednesday, and his nine home runs leave him just off the American League lead.
“I think the most important thing is to control the emotions, try to come to the ballpark ready to compete and help my team win, which is the most important thing right now,” Santander said through an interpreter.
“The whole idea is to continue to fight, to work hard, to compete, and hopefully get a win at the end of the game,” he added.
The Orioles and Red Sox have met in a series once already this season, with Baltimore winning two of three to open the season at Boston.
The Red Sox won on Opening Day, though, as Eovaldi gave up one run on five hits over six innings with a walk and four strikeouts.
–Field Level Media