Orioles-Red Sox Preview
The Baltimore Orioles are the last undefeated team in the majors, and they haven't been this good to start a season since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office.
After Chris Davis practically carried them to their latest victory, the Orioles attempt to go 7-0 on Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox.
Baltimore has opened with a six-game winning streak for the first time since going 9-0 as the St. Louis Browns in 1944, when they went on to lose the World Series to the Cardinals.
The Orioles aren't getting ahead of themselves, and manager Buck Showalter likes their even-keeled attitude.
“Our guys are very reality based and understand it doesn't mean much of anything,” Showalter said. “They're more interested in winning at the end of the season.”
Davis was most responsible for Baltimore's 9-7 win to open this three-game series in Boston on Monday. He hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth inning off closer Craig Kimbrel after driving in two runs on a single in the third, matching his career high in RBIs.
The first baseman has homered on three of his five hits this season.
“I'm proud of how we're playing,” Davis said. “Everybody knows once it heats up, the ball's going to start flying, and guys are going to start hitting the ball out of the ballpark. It's good to see these quality at-bats early on.”
Baltimore isn't having any problems with the long ball, connecting for 10 over the last five games after hitting two Monday.
The Orioles' bullpen has also been vital to their start, compiling a 1.78 ERA.
The relievers will need to be ready with Mike Wright (3-5, 6.04 ERA in 2015) taking the mound for his season debut after Saturday's start against Tampa Bay was rained out. The right-hander, who is still considered a rookie, went 0-5 with a 10.88 ERA over his final six starts last year after going 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his first three – including 14 1-3 scoreless innings over the first two.
Wright allowed six runs over three innings in losing his only other start against the Red Sox (3-3) in September, and they've scored at least six runs five times after matching a season high with 11 hits Monday.
Mookie Betts had three of them, including a solo shot while driving in another run in a breakout performance. The leadoff hitter was 3 for 23 with one homer and three RBIs over the first five games.
Clay Buchholz is trying to shake off his own rough start and any lingering effects of an elbow injury that limited him to 18 starts last year. In his first start since July, the right-hander was tagged for four runs in the first inning before giving up one more and getting pulled after the fourth while not getting a decision in a 7-6 loss at Cleveland on Wednesday.
“The challenge in his last start was putting up a zero in the first inning,” manager John Farrell told MLB's official website. “It's all about consistent location for Clay.”
Buchholz is 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA over his last seven starts against the Orioles, yielding one run in seven innings of a 5-1 home win in the most recent June 24.
He may have to contend with Adam Jones, who went 3 for 3 against him last year and has a .400 average in his past 16 games at Fenway Park. The center fielder has been out of the starting lineup for four straight games with rib soreness but is expected back in this series. He was used as a defensive replacement in the opener.