Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, August 16, 2019
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox are running out of time to jump back into the postseason race in the American League but are getting strong performances from some young stars as they try to climb the standings. The Red Sox get a break in the schedule when they begin a three-game series Friday night at home against the American League East-worst Baltimore Orioles.
Boston managed to take two of three at Cleveland this week behind the potent bats of Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts but had to reach deep into the bullpen in each of the three contests, and is prepared to stretch the staff to its limits as long as the team remains in the race. “We put ourselves in a bad position, but we understand that we’ve got a shot to make up some ground,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters. “The season is not over. We’ve got a month and a half, and we haven’t been hot, so we’ll figure it out. We’ve got a lot of off days and September is coming, too, so we just need people to get outs and keep moving forward.”
The Orioles need people to get outs as well as they allowed 9.8 per game while going 1-9 in their last 10, with seven of those setbacks coming against the AL East-leading New York Yankees. A pair of struggling starters square off in Friday’s opener with Rick Porcello taking the mound for Boston opposite Baltimore’s Aaron Brooks.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Aaron Brooks (2-6, 6.35 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (10-9, 5.67)
Brooks has yet to earn a win in six starts since joining the Orioles and was ripped for nine runs on as many hits – four homers – over three innings against Houston on Saturday. The 29-year-old allowed 23 runs – 22 earned – in 16 2/3 innings over his last four starts and surrendered seven home runs in that span. Brooks’ best effort of the season came against Boston when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics on April 1, when he scattered two hits over six scoreless frames.
Porcello allowed at least four earned runs in six of his last nine starts and was rocked for five runs and five hits – two homers – in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. The New Jersey native yielded 13 home runs in 39 2/3 innings over his last eight starts. Porcello was bailed out by his offense and earned a win at Baltimore on July 20 despite allowing six runs on 11 hits – two home runs – in five innings.
- Devers became the first player in the modern era to go 6-for-6 with four doubles Tuesday and followed up with a home run among two hits Wednesday.
- Baltimore DH Renato Nunez recorded a career-high five hits Wednesday.
- Boston RHP Nathan Eovaldi did not allow a run in any of his last three relief appearances spanning 3 2/3 innings, but could rejoin the rotation this weekend.