Series Preview: Orioles look to keep things calm this weekend against rival Red Sox

BALTIMORE, MD — After a brutal 16-game stretch in which the Orioles won just three games, the O’s rebounded in their series with the Yankees, taking two of three from their first-place foes. The schedule does not get any easier this weekend, as the Boston Red Sox are next on deck for a four-game set at Camden Yards.

The Red Sox are playing great baseball right now, having won eight of their last 10 games. The week of May 21-27, the Red Sox won six straight. Coming into this upcoming series, Boston took two of three from the White Sox in Chicago. The Red Sox currently sit in second place in the American League East at 29-23, two games behind the Yankees (30-20).

The Orioles, meanwhile, look to make up some ground in the standings this weekend. The birds are in third place in the East with a 27-24 mark, which is 3.5 games behind New York and 1.5 games behind Boston. Facing a hot Red Sox team that has David Price back in the rotation will be a good test for the O’s this weekend.

Season Series: These two teams have already met nine times this year, six times at Fenway Park and three times at Camden Yards. The Orioles currently lead the season series, 5-4. At Camden Yards, Baltimore has a 2-1 advantage, and at Fenway the birds have gone 3-3.

Will Tempers Flare Again? In the nine games already played between these two teams, there has been a plethora of extracurricular activities. It all started on a Friday night game in Baltimore on April 21. Manny Machado was stealing a base and collided with second-baseman Dustin Pedroia. Machado immediately checked on Pedroia after the play, but Pedroia had to exit the game and missed the remainder of the series.

This controversial slide prompted a series of events that have stretched out since it happened. Two days later in a Sunday afternoon game, pitcher Matt Barnes threw behind Machado’s head, and was ejected. He later received a four-game suspension.

It did not end there. In the May 2 game at Fenway, Boston star pitcher Chris Sale threw a 97.8 mph fastball behind Machado, which prompted umpires to issue warnings to both benches.

Machado got revenge on Boston, finishing the four-game series with three home runs.

In the second inning of the game of May 3, Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected by homeplate umpire Sam Holbrook for hitting Xander Bogaerts with a 77 mph curveball. No warning were given before the ejection.

Later in the game, Holbrook threw Adam Jones out of the game for arguing questionable strike calls.

Amazingly, the fun did not end there for Jones. During the same four-game series in Boston, Jones was the victim of racial slurs by fans at Fenway Park. The fan has been identified and has been permanently banned from the ballpark for his actions.

Certainly, the bad blood between the two teams certainly makes the rest of the season series must-see, whether that be at home or the ballpark.

Game times & pitching matchups:

Game 1Thursday, June 1, 7:05 pm – Eduardo Rodriguez (4-1, 2.77 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (1-3, 3.02 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 2Friday, June 2, 7:05 pm – Rick Porcello (3-6, 4.21 ERA) vs. Alec Asher (1-3, 3.77 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 3Saturday, June 3, 7:15 pm – David Price (0-0, 5.40 ERA (one start)) vs. Dylan Bundy (6-3, 2.89 ERA) – FOX, 105.7 The Fan.

Game 4Sunday, June 4, 1:35 pm – TBD (Boston) vs. Chris Tillman (1-2, 5.87 ERA) – MASN, 105.7 The Fan.

Notes on the Red Sox:

  • On May 30, Pedroia was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a severely sprained left wrist.
  • David Price’s career ERA against the Orioles is 2.88. Chris Sale’s is 3.19.
  • Mookie Betts has a career .326 average at Camden Yards with 10 home runs. Against the O’s as a whole, his average is 2.81. Betts leads Boston in home runs with nine.
  • This season, Bogearts is Boston’s top hitter. In 187 at-bats, he is hitting .337 with 63 hits, 11 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 20 RBI.
  • As a team, the Red Sox are hitting .278 against the Orioles this season, and their pitching staff’s ERA against Baltimore is 3.99.

Notes on the Orioles

  • As mentioned in last night’s series recap, catcher Wellington Castillo has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a testicular injury. Caleb Joseph will once again become the regular catcher in Castillo’s absence, and the Orioles called up Francisco Pena as the backup.
  • The birds have not had an off-day since May 25, but they have one coming up on Monday before their two-game set with Pittsburgh.
  • Manny Machado’s season slump has him currently hitting .200. In the last four games, he does not have a hit and has struck out 10 times.
  • In his three starts against Boston so far this season, Bundy has allowed five runs on 18 hits, seven walks, and eight strikeouts in 20.1 innings.
  • Trey Mancini has a .292 average against Boston this season with seven hits and three home runs in 24 at-bats.
  • The Orioles are collectively hitting .254 against Boston this season, and are pitching to a 3.69 ERA versus the Red Sox so far in 2017.
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