The Baltimore Orioles remain one of the biggest surprises in the American League, holding a share of the wild card lead just one year removed from losing 93 games. Beating up on the Boston Red Sox has been pivotal for the Orioles, who have won seven of 10 matchups against their AL East Division rival. Mark Reynolds provided an offensive jolt with a pair of homers and four RBIs Tuesday, giving him three homers, three doubles and seven RBIs in his last six games.
Boston’s season of discontent took another ugly turn when Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that the players blasted manager Bobby Valentine during a heated meeting with team management at the end of last month. The report listed first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and second baseman Dustin Pedroia as the most vocal critics, but Pedroia denied he bashed Valentine. “I am not going to blame anything on Bobby.” Pedroia said. “It’s on the players, man.”
Boston vs Baltimore
When: 7:05 PM ET, Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Aaron Cook (3-5, 4.70 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Miguel Gonzalez (4-2, 3.42)
Cook snapped a four-game losing streak last time out, holding the Texas Rangers to one run on six hits in seven innings. He had turned in three rocky performances prior to that win, giving up two homers in each start. Cook was pounded by the Orioles for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings in his season debut May 5, but he had an excuse after he was gashed by a spike at home plate.
Gonzalez has pitched superbly in his last two starts. The rookie went a season-high eight innings against Kansas City last time out, yielding one run on seven hits. That followed seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball in his previous outing. Gonzalez made a relief appearance at Boston on June 7 and acquitted himself well, giving up one run on two hits in four innings.
1. Reynolds hit his 10th and 11th homers after swatting 161 in his previous four seasons, including 37 for Baltimore last year.
2. Red Sox LF Carl Crawford is batting .372 (16-for-43) with one homer, eight doubles and 12 RBIs in his last 11 games.
3. Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury has hit in 37 straight games against the Orioles.