Baltimore Orioles (64-90) @ Boston Red Sox (88-67)
Tommy Hunter (3-3, 5.31) @ Josh Beckett (13-5, 2.50)
7:10 PM EDT | Fenway Park (Boston, MA)
TV: NESN RADIO: WEEI 850, WWZN 1510
The Red Sox take their 2-1/2 game lead in the Wild Card race into the finale of their four-game series against the Orioles. Tonight is the last regularly-scheduled home game of the season for the Red Sox, finishing on the road against the Yankees and the Orioles. If the Red Sox don’t improve their play in September, tonight’s game could be the last baseball game played at Fenway until next April.
Josh Beckett takes the mound for the Red Sox. The Sox really need a win from Beckett tonight, but Beckett has a 5.73 ERA against the Orioles this season (his highest ERA against any AL team). Beckett did get a win against the Orioles on July 8, giving up three runs in five innings of work.
On the mound for the Orioles is Tommy Hunter. Acquired from the Rangers (along with Chris Davis) for Koji Uehara, Hunter hadn’t had great success for the Orioles. However, Hunter got the win his last start against the Angels, throwing seven scoreless innings and allowing just three runners to reach second base.
Boston Red Sox
- Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
- Mike Aviles, 3B
- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- Josh Reddick, RF
- Carl Crawford, CF
- Marco Scutaro, SS
- Jason Varitek, C
- Robert Andino, 2B
- J.J. Hardy, SS
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Vlad Guerrero, DH
- Matt Wieters, C
- Adam Jones, CF
- Mark Reynolds, 1B
- Chris Davis, 3B
- Matt Angle, LF
Boston: Clay Buchholz, lower back strain (placed on 15-day DL June 19, retroactive to June 17); J.D. Drew, left shoulder impingement, broken finger (placed on 15-day DL July 26, placed on 60-day DL September 13); Kevin Youkilis, left hip bursitis and sports hernia (day-to-day)
Baltimore: Cesar Izturis, left groin strain (placed on 15-day DL August 8)
– With 206 hits, Adrian Gonzalez is one hit shy of Mo Vaughn’s franchise record of 207 hits, achieved in 1996.
– Since September 7, the Orioles are 8-3 against teams in the playoff chase. The O’s are 2-0 against the Yankees, and 2-1 against each of the Angels, Rays, and Red Sox. (Hat tip to the Elias Sports Bureau)
– On September 21, 1975, Jim Rice broke his hand on a pitch from Vern Ruhle of the Tigers. Rice’s broken hand ruled him out of the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. What could have been… Also, on September 21, 2006, David Ortiz broke Jimmie Foxx’s franchise record of 50 home runs in a game against the Twins. Big Papi would go on to hit 54 dingers that year.
– And for today’s Totally Untrue Fun Fact: Robert Andino eats worms.