Red Sox look to maintain dominance over Orioles (Jun 10, 2018)
Boston has won five of its six meetings with Baltimore so far this season. The Orioles' only victory came May 18 at home.
Baltimore (19-45) has the worst record in the majors and was swept in a four-game series by Toronto during the weekend, including a 13-3 setback on Sunday. The Orioles have also lost 11 of 13.
The schedule does not get any easier against the Red Sox (44-22), who have won six of nine despite dropping a weekend series with the Chicago White Sox.
The Orioles rank near the bottom in almost every batting statistic in the American League. Manager Buck Showalter is hopeful that several players, including the struggling Chris Davis, are ready to break out from their doldrums.
"I think it could. It could happen in a two- or three-day span," Showalter said. "It's just been a long sampling now and everyone is wanting to be that guy. Everyone says, 'I've got to be the guy,' but we've always been a sum of the parts team here. We've got a lot of parts not performing as well as they can."
The Red Sox do not have those types of problems and are playing as well as any team in the majors.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-0, 1.57 ERA) will pitch the opener for Boston. He spent most of the season working out of the bullpen after coming off the disabled list from knee surgery.
However, Wright will likely stay in the rotation for the foreseeable future because of the injury to Drew Pomeranz (left biceps tendinitis).
Wright pitched well in his first start of the season, throwing seven scoreless innings with two hits, six strikeouts and three walks against the Detroit Tigers on June 5.
"It's been about a year and a half since I've been out there healthy throwing," Wright said. "Once they made that unbelievable relay in the first, I was able to kind of calm down a little bit. It was definitely nice to get back out there."
Wright is 2-2 with a 5.68 ERA in seven career appearances (four starts) against Baltimore.
The Red Sox will be without second baseman Dustin Pedroia for the series. He is still dealing with knee inflammation and will be out for the foreseeable future, according to manager Alex Cora. However, right fielder Mookie Betts is close to getting back into the lineup.
Dylan Bundy (4-7, 4.04) will pitch Monday for the Orioles. The right-hander is having an up-and-down season but has been effective in his last five starts, lasting at least six innings.
He threw seven innings of three-hit ball in a 1-0 win over the New York Mets on June 6.
"I've tweaked some things in my bullpen and stuff, but as far as pitches-wise, it doesn't feel much different," Bundy said about his recent run of success. "Obviously, I was just leaving the ball up against those teams and got roughed up pretty good. I'm just trying to focus and have a good mentality going out there."
Bundy is 3-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 14 career appearances, including 10 starts, against the Red Sox.