Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
When: 7:05 PM ET, Saturday, July 20, 2019
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BALTIMORE – Every time it looks like the Boston Red Sox are ready to take a step forward, they end up taking a big step back. The Red Sox will try to recover from their latest stumble and even the series at one win apiece when they visit the Baltimore Orioles for the second of a three-game series on today.
World Series defending champion Boston took three of four from Toronto at home to start the week but could not keep the momentum going against the major league-worst Orioles and were ripped 11-2 in the series opener, as former Cy Young Award winner David Price suffered through an abbreviated start and the bullpen and offense failed to pick him up. Red-hot sluggers Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers powered the team against Toronto but went a combined 0-for-8 with a pair of strikeouts on Friday as the Red Sox, who sit third in the American League East and are staring at a stretch of 14 straight against New York and Tampa Bay beginning next week, mustered a total of seven hits.
Baltimore exploded late in a 9-2 victory over Washington on Wednesday and carried the offensive momentum to Friday when Anthony Santander led the charge with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. Boston will send another struggling starter to the mound Saturday in right-hander Rick Porcello, while the Orioles counter with rookie righty Tom Eshelman.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (7-7, 5.37 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Tom Eshelman (0-1, 5.06)
Any path back to the playoffs for Boston includes a return to form for Porcello, who has surrendered 21 runs and 30 hits in 18 total innings over his last four starts. The former Cy Young Award was bailed out by the offense to earn wins in his last two outings despite yielding a total of 10 runs and 17 hits in 11 2/3 innings against Detroit and Toronto. Porcello was not at his best either against Baltimore on April 13, giving up three runs in four innings while issuing a season-high five walks.
Eshelman is making his third major-league start after facing Tampa Bay in each of his first two outings. The 25-year-old struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday but was charged with four runs on five hits – two homers – to suffer his first loss. Eshelman, who was acquired from Philadelphia early last month, was 2-5 with a 4.56 ERA in 14 starts for three different minor-league teams before being recalled.
- Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) could come off the injured and join the bullpen on Saturday.
- Baltimore CF Keon Broxton homered on Friday – his first blast since June 4.
- Boston All-Star DH J.D. Martinez is 3-for-33 in eight games since the All-Star break.