The Baltimore Orioles take aim at their sixth consecutive home victory over the Boston Red Sox as the AL East rivals take the field for the third chapter of a four-game set at Camden Yards.
After winning the first two games of the series, the Orioles are just 1 1/2 games behind the Red Sox for first place in the division. Baltimore took a 2-0 win on Friday as Chris Tillman pitched six-plus shutout innings and the bullpen followed with three scoreless frames.
"I thought it was good. Early, I struggled with command a little bit with all my pitches," Tillman said. "I was able to make an adjustment mid-game. Kind of went with (catcher Matt) Wieters from there and started attacking the zone a little."
First baseman Chris Davis hit a solo home run in the second inning on Friday to mark his MLB-leading 22nd of the year. Manny Machado became the youngest player in franchise history to hit 30 doubles in a season and extended his season-long hitting streak to 12 games for Baltimore.
The Orioles will send Freddy Garcia to the hill on Saturday. Garcia took a winning decision last time out after giving up only two runs over six innings versus the Angels before a rain delay ended his start earlier than anticipated. The right-hander has won three of his past four starts and comes in with a 3-3 record and a 4.47 ERA.
Boston was unsuccessful on Friday despite a decent showing from starter Ryan Dempster, who pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed just five hits during his time on the mound.
"Sometimes you just get outpitched. There is really nothing you can do about it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We don't get shut out very often. It's kind of a rarity. We'll just bounce back (Saturday)."
On Saturday, the Red Sox will counter with John Lackey, who enters with just a 1-5 record in road starts. The 6-foot-6 veteran starter surrendered four earns runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings in his last start at Tampa Bay on Monday.
Lackey has never before faced Machado, but Davis is 8-for-17 with two doubles and a home run off of him in his career.
Farrell will need a better performance out of his offense, which leads the MLB in runs with 355. Dustin Pedroia has gone just 1-for-9 at the plate through the first two games of the series. David Ortiz has also fallen into a slump with only one hit in his last 11 at bats.
Jose Iglesias did his best in an attempt to provide a spark on Friday as he went 2-for-4 to improve his batting average to .451 on the season. The second- year third baseman has recorded a multi-hit game in each of his last five starts.
Baltimore is 4-1 against the Red Sox this season after taking 13 of the 18 matchups a year ago.