Published June 13, 2016
Given a chance to gain ground on the other in the American League East standings, neither the Baltimore Orioles or Boston Red Sox capitalized on Sunday.
Instead, the Orioles and Red Sox own identical 36-26 records and are tied atop the division entering the opener of their three-game series Tuesday night in Boston.
Baltimore's spirited comeback came up short in Sunday's 10-9 loss at Toronto. The O's trailed by six runs, but trimmed the deficit to one on Pedro Alvarez's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning before falling.
"It's a tough hole to dig out of on the road," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Our guys were engaged and put a good scare into them."
Meanwhile, Boston lost at Minnesota 7-4 on Max Kepler's walk-off home run in the 10th, which was preceded by Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw bunting into a double play an inning earlier.
"That's something we don't typically call for him, but the way he's been swinging the bat of late, looking to move a runner," Boston manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com) of Shaw, who is batting .132 (5-for-38) in June.
Baltimore has dropped three straight games while Boston has won three of five.
Both sides figure to be in capable hands Tuesday as Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman (8-1, 3.01 ERA) faces Red Sox left-hander David Price (7-3, 4.63 ERA).
Tillman has fared well against Boston in the past, going 9-3 with a 2.84 ERA with Red Sox batters hitting .249 against him in 18 career starts. He boasts a 4-1 record with a 2.56 ERA over eight career starts at Fenway Park.
Tillman hasn't lost since April 14, posting a 7-0 record and a 2.62 ERA in 10 starts over that stretch. His last start was arguably his best, tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing eight hits and zero walks and striking out a season-high-tying nine Wednesday against Kansas City.
Dustin Pedroia has hit .268 (11-for-41) with five RBIs against Tillman. David Ortiz (.182, 6-for-33) and Xander Bogaerts (2-for-17) are the only Boston batters to take Tillman deep.
Price is 8-4 with a 2.90 ERA over 20 lifetime starts against Baltimore. Price has faced the Orioles once already this year, giving up five runs on as many hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in his second start as a member of the Red Sox on April 11.
The former Cy Young Award recipient is 4-1 with a 5.61 ERA at home this season.
Price is winless in his last three starts, including a pitchers' duel at San Francisco, in which he surrendered just two runs on three hits while striking out seven in eight innings on Wednesday.
Mark Trumbo has proven a good foil to Price, hitting .364 (8-for-22) with two homers and seven RBIs against him. Matt Wieters (.319, 15-for-47, four RBIs), Manny Machado (.273, 6-for-22) and Nolan Reimold (.133, 4-for-30, four RBIs) have also hit homers off Price.
Wieters has six doubles and Adam Jones (.265, 13-for-49) has four against Price.
Collectively, the nine active Orioles who have faced Price are hitting .272 (56-for-206) against him. However, they've also struck out 83 times.
Baltimore has outscored Boston 51-38 in winning four of the seven meetings this year.