American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, June 6th (All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (31-24) at Boston Red Sox (28-27), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 3.75) Boston - Josh Beckett (4-5, 4.26)
(Sports Network) - Back on top in the American League East, the Baltimore Orioles target a series win over the division-rival Boston Red Sox tonight in the second installment of a three-game set from Fenway Park.
The Orioles moved back into a tie with Tampa Bay atop the AL East standings with last night's 8-6 win in 10 innings in Beantown coupled with the Rays' setback at Yankee Stadium. Ronny Paulino and Endy Chavez both had RBI singles in the top of the 10th and Jim Johnson picked up the win with two innings of relief. Johnson allowed two runs in the ninth on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's game- tying blast, but closed it out in the 10th.
"It was my fault so I wanted to get back out there," said Johnson. "The guys picked me up and everyone contributed tonight so it was good to see that."
J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce hit RBI singles in a three-run seventh inning that had the Orioles in the lead until Saltalamacchia's homer. Baltimore won for only the second time in nine tries and is 2-5 on a nine-game road trip. It entered the game having lost six of seven games on the road and seven of eight overall.
Orioles rookie Wei-Yin Chen has hit the skids with two losses over his last three starts since opening his major league career 4-0 over his first seven trips to the mound. Chen, who gets the nod tonight, has yielded 13 runs over his current winless drought and last toed the rubber in Friday's 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay.
He allowed five runs and five hits over 5 2/3 innings to fall to 4-2 in 10 starts and raise his ERA to 3.75. The lefty has given up a home run in each of his past four trips to the mound and lost his first appearance against Boston back on May 4, when he permitted four runs -- three earned -- in five innings of a 6-4 loss. Chen is 1-2 in five outings away from Camden Yards.
Boston hopes to avoid losing three straight for the first time since May 8-10 and get back on track on its six-game homestand.
Last night's loss provided plenty of fireworks for both teams, while the Red Sox thought they had momentum on their side when Saltalamacchia evened the score with a two-run homer in the eighth inning.
"The guys fought back the whole game," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "They did a heck of a job."
Mike Aviles had three hits, Daniel Nava recorded two hits and a pair of runs scored and Scott Podsednik went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Red Sox. They got second baseman and 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia back for the first time since May 28 -- he was out with a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb -- and he had a sacrifice fly.
Jon Lester got the start for Boston and recorded a no-decision after he allowed four runs -- two earned -- in six innings. Lester is still 14-0 in his career against Baltimore. The Red Sox will also host Washington on the residency.
Josh Beckett hasn't had as much success against Baltimore as Lester, but could get something going tonight. Beckett has made 18 career starts against the Orioles, going 7-5 with a 4.25 earned run average in 118 2/3 innings. Beckett went 1-2 in four starts against Baltimore a season ago.
Beckett was 2-0 in three starts, allowing three runs in that time, until Thursday's 7-3 setback versus Detroit. He was tagged for four runs and 10 hits in seven innings to fall to 4-5 in 10 starts with a 4.26 ERA. The right-hander and 2003 World Series MVP is 2-3 in six starts at Fenway Park this season. Beckett is 41-25 with a 4.26 ERA through 91 career starts at the ballpark.
Baltimore has won five of seven matchups with Boston this season and swept a three-game series in Beantown from May 4-6. The Orioles have won six in a row at Fenway Park.
06/06 11:45:15 ET