Series Preview: Orioles begin longest road trip of 2018 at Fenway

BOSTON — Just two weeks after wrapping up their longest homestead of the 2018 campaign, the Orioles head out of Baltimore for their longest road trip of the season. The Orioles will play 11 games in 11 days, with the first two of three series being four games. Thursday through Sunday, the Orioles kick off the final road trip of May with four games in Boston against the Red Sox.

This already marks the Orioles’ second visit to Fenway Park this season. Boston swept the O’s in three games from Apr. 13-15. This weekend’s series was originally three games, but the Apr. 16 Patriot Day game was rained out and rescheduled for tonight.

In April’s three-game series, Boston outscored Baltimore 20-7. Chris Tillman (2.0 IP) and Alex Cobb (3.2 IP) gave up 13 combined earned runs in their starts. Tzu-Wei Lin went 6-for-11 from the ninth spot in the Boston lineup. Pedro Alvarez hit the lone Baltimore home run of the weekend in game two.

This week has been quiet for the Orioles. Not counting Sunday’s 17-1 win over Tampa Bay, the Orioles have only played one game this week (a 4-1 loss to the Phillies) due to a rainout on Tuesday night. The Red Sox, meanwhile, lost their series against the Oakland A’s 2-1 Monday to Wednesday. The two losses moved Boston (29-14) a half game behind the Yankees (28-12) for first place in the American League East. The Orioles (13-29) come into Thursday 16 games back with a last place mark in the division.

Road woes: Aside from taking three of four from the Yankees in the Bronx during the first road trip of the season, the Orioles are 0-16 in places not named Camden Yards or Yankee Stadium.

More rainy baseball ahead? While Baltimore and the mid-Atlantic region continue to get pummeled with rain, Boston’s weekend forecast looks better, but could become problematic during the final two games of this series. While rain is not expected Thursday or Friday, the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain during Saturday evening. On Sunday, there’s an 80% chance of thunderstorms with winds gusting up to 25 miles-per-hour.

Game times and pitching matchups:

Game 1Thursday, May 17, 7:10 pm – Kevin Gausman (3-2, 3.18 ERA) vs. David Price (3-4, 4.89 ERA) – MASN, MLB Network, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2Friday, May 18, 7:10 pm – Alex Cobb (0-5, 7.06 ERA) vs. Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 5.47 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3Saturday, May 19, 7:10 pm – Dylan Bundy (2-5, 4.53 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (5-1, 3.28 ERA) – MASN 2, MLB Network, 105.7 The Fan

Game 4Sunday, May 20, 1:10 pm – TBD vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1, 4.68 ERA) – MASN 2, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Wednesday or Thursday was thought to be when Darren O’Day would get activated off the 10-day disabled list, but Friday looks more likely. O’Day threw a bullpen on Wednesday, with Zach Britton continuing to throw live batting practice before games. The depleted, struggling Orioles bullpen will gladly welcome two longtime veterans back into the fold.
  • Over his last two appearances, Richard Bleier allowed three runs on five hits in one combined inning of work. Before his May 11 appearance versus Tampa, Bleier’s ERA was 0.40. Now, it’s 1.52.
  • With his solo home run on Wednesday, Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to 11 games. His longest hit streak came in 2012, when Jones hit safely in 20 straight contests from May 10-29.
  • Jonathan Schoop returns to the same field where he suffered an oblique strain in April that landed him on the 10-day disabled list. In 2015, Schoop also suffered a PCL tear and MCL sprain to his right knee at Fenway, an injury that limited him to 86 games that season.

Notes on the Red Sox: 

  • Lifetime against the Orioles, Price is 12-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 25 starts.
  • Two of the top 10 hitters in baseball belong to the Red Sox. Mookie Betts (.353) is second in batting average, and J.D. Martinez (.344) is third. Betts has hit 13 home runs this season with 28 RBI, while Martinez owns 12 home runs and 36 RBI.
  • Lifetime against Gausman, Betts is 13-for-29 with three home runs and seven RBI.
  • Martinez has hit seven home runs in his last 14 games, and he’s reached base in 21 straight games.

Image Credit: Union Leader 

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