Red Sox aim for split with Orioles (Jun 04, 2017)

BY AP • June 4, 2017

BALTIMORE -- Chris Sale will try and extend his personal winning streak to six games as the Boston Red Sox look to earn a split of their four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Sale (6-2, 2.77) has tied a career best with his five straight victories. He has been a strikeout machine this year, although slowing a bit in his last two starts.

The left-hander has fanned 110 in 78 innings so far this season. Sale struck out nine in his last start, beating his former teammates from the White Sox despite allowing six runs on 10 hits in five innings.

Sale is 3-2 with a 3.19 career ERA versus Baltimore.

The Orioles will start right-hander Chris Tillman (1-2, 5.87). He is trying to become consistent after missing the first five weeks due to shoulder bursitis issues.

Tillman has found more success versus the Red Sox than any other team in his career. The right-hander has a 10-3 record with a 2.95 ERA, the most wins he's recorded versus another team.

This will be his sixth start this season but Tillman has battled that inconsistency so far. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last start, giving up five runs on seven hits in a loss versus the Yankees.

The Baltimore starting rotation has pitched well in the past week, and it will need more help from Tillman, who the team considered its No. 1 starter before the season.

Manager Buck Showalter said since the bullpen is deeper now, and the starters are going longer, that's been a big reason the Orioles have won four of their last six games, including two of the first three in this series.

"We went to seven pitchers in the 'pen," Showalter said. "(There's) a lot of the starting pitching getting deeper, and (we) have multiple guys available to pitch multiple innings."

The Orioles will be deciding whether to send catcher Welington Castillo (testicular injury) on rehab work before bringing him back. They are hoping he'll be ready when his disabled list time ends later in the week.

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia also is making steps toward coming back when his 10-day disabled list stint is up. He was placed there May 30 with a left wrist sprain.

Manager John Farrell said Pedroia took some practice swings Saturday and felt good. He could be taking batting practice when the team plays in New York versus the Yankees starting Tuesday.

Josh Rutledge has filled in for Pedroia and was in the original lineup for the Saturday game but became a late scratch due to dehydration issues. Deven Marrero replaced him.

Craig Kimbrel earned the save for Boston by posting the final four outs in Saturday's 5-2 victory. However, he gave up a hit to Mark Trumbo, the first time this season that a right-handed hitter got a base hit versus Kimbrel.

Right-handers were 0-for-47 before that hit, and the Orioles have a lineup loaded with right-handed batters. Kimbrel has struck out 48 batters in 25 1/3 innings so far this season.

"It's a matter of time; he's not going to strike everybody out," Farrell said.



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