Baltimore at Boston
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
J.D. Martinez (r.)
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox began the season strong on the mound but took a little longer to get the bats going. The bats don’t seem to want to quit now, and the pitching remains strong as the Red Sox will try to continue the best start in franchise history by clinching a series win when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday in the third of a four-game series.
Boston averaged 3.4 runs while winning six of its first seven games but turned the offense around last weekend and is dominating of late, averaging 8.9 runs while taking six of the last seven to make it a 12-2 start. Hanley Ramirez is leading the way with 15 RBIs while newcomer J.D. Martinez is making an immediate impact with 13 RBIs, and both Ramirez and Martinez hit their third home runs in Saturday’s 10-2 drubbing. The Orioles aren’t doing nearly as well offensively and dropped four of their last five games while averaging 2.6 runs. Baltimore could find runs hard to come by on Sunday as the Red Sox send ace Chris Sale to the mound to oppose Orioles righty Dylan Bundy.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MASN (Baltimore), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Dylan Bundy (0-1, 1.35 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Chris Sale (1-0, 1.06)
Bundy is one of the bright spots for Baltimore in the early going but is still looking for his first win despite surrendering a total of three earned runs in 20 innings through his first three starts. The 25-year-old struck out 10 in seven innings against Toronto on Monday but yielded two runs on four hits to absorb the loss. Bundy made five starts against Boston last season and went 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA.
Sale is picking up right where he left off last season, when he finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting and owns 23 strikeouts in 17 innings through his first three starts. The Florida native took advantage of his team’s offensive explosion to earn his first win on Tuesday, coming out on the good end of a 14-1 final. Sale earned the win in all three of his starts against Baltimore in 2017, posting a 2.05 ERA while recording 33 strikeouts in 22 innings.
1. The Orioles placed 2B Jonathan Schoop on the 10-day DL on Saturday with an oblique strain.
2. Red Sox RF Mookie Betts left Saturday’s game and was diagnosed with a contusion on his left foot after x-rays came back negative.
3. Baltimore starters Chris Tillman and Alex Cobb were reached for a combined 13 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in the first two games of the series.