Orioles-Red Sox Preview
Ubaldo Jimenez is probably facing the wrong team as he seeks to end his woes.
He has endured an ugly history against the Boston Red Sox as he looks to avoid dropping to 0-4 for the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday night at Fenway Park.
Jimenez (0-3, 7.31 ERA) is seeking to avoid a start similar to 2011, when he lost his first five decisions among his first nine outings. He is also trying to avoid losing four starts in a row for the first time since Aug. 26-Sept. 11, 2012.
The right-hander’s problems began when he gave up four runs in six innings in a 6-2 loss to Boston (8-10) on April 2, dropping him to 1-3 against the Red Sox in five regular-season starts with a 10.27 ERA – his worst against an AL opponent.
Jimenez’s best outing against Boston may have been in Game 2 of the 2007 World Series when he allowed two runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 2-1 road defeat for Colorado. He issued five walks in that one, and including that contest, has walked 19 Red Sox hitters over 28 1-3 innings.
Dustin Pedroia has the most hits off Jimenez among the Red Sox, going 7 for 13. Pedroia is 21 for 45 (.467) during a 10-game hitting streak against Baltimore (8-8), going 10 for 22 to help Boston take three of five 2014 meetings.
The Red Sox evened this four-game set with a 4-2 victory Saturday. David Ortiz homered and Brock Holt hit a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning.
Holt is 3 for 7 in this series in his first action of the year.
”You want to go out and play well anytime you’re out there,” he said. ”I’ve got these first two under my belt and had some success, hopefully I can continue to keep going out there.”
Red Sox rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts will be back in the lineup after he sat out for the first time Saturday.
”He’s played in every game and after some long games and travel, he’s being rested,” manager John Farrell said.
Boston’s Jake Peavy (0-0, 1.93) is unbeaten in his last 10 regular-season starts, going 3-0 with a 3.17 ERA. He struck out eight and gave up one run in six innings Tuesday in a 2-1 road loss to the Chicago White Sox.
It may be a good idea for the Orioles to give J.J. Hardy the day off. Hardy is in a 5-for-26 slump and has one hit in 17 at-bats versus Peavy.
There could be some bad blood remaining after the benches emptied briefly Saturday in the seventh after Bud Norris threw high and tight to David Ross, who was trying to sacrifice. Ross yelled something, but Orioles catcher Matt Wieters stepped in between and both sides retreated to the dugouts.
”It’s emotional. Ross is a good player – a good catcher and a pro,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”But I know Matt. He’s not going to allow somebody to yell at his pitcher like that – especially when he doesn’t have any reason to.”
Baltimore slugger Chris Davis is 2 for 17 with eight strikeouts against Boston this year and hitless in five at-bats versus Peavy.