After sweeping the Angels on the road to win their fifth straight game, 7th out of 10, and sixth straight series, the Orioles head back east, but not quite to Camden Yards. Instead, they're going to Fenway Park for a three game series against the Boston Red Sox, their first meeting since April.
Orioles face Boston Red Sox for first time since April
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
The Red Sox enter this series on a downturn, having won just three of their last 10 games and falling farther down in the race for the wild card spots in the AL. They enter this series having lost two of three games to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
The Orioles and Red Sox started the season playing each other, with the Red Sox winning two of three in the first series on a noteworthy defensive miscue. They then played three games at Camden Yards a few weeks later, with the Orioles winning two of three games there to win that series. The series is deadlocked 3-3 through six games.
Friday, 9/8: Kyle Bradish vs Tanner Houck
With the Orioles temporarily shifting back to a five man rotation, Cole Irvin will go to the bullpen and Bradish will start the series opener. In his second big league season, Bradish has a 3.03 ERA, 3.44 FIP, and 1.110 WHIP, averaging 8.8 strikeouts per nine over 25 starts and 139 2/3 innings.
In Bradish's last start, he allowed two runs on four hits and three walks over six innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He faced the Red Sox at Camden Yards in April, allowing seven runs on eight hits and four walks while lasting just 2 1/3 innings in his third start of the season.
After being hit in the face by a line drive and undergoing surgery, Houck will make his fourth start since returning from the IL. The 27-year-old has a 5.07 ERA, 4.42 FIP, and 1.310 WHIP, averaging 3.2 walks per nine and 8.3 strikeouts per nine in 81 2/3 innings and 16 starts.
Saturday, 9/9: Jack Flaherty vs Chris Sale
Flaherty gets the middle game for the Orioles. He has struggled immensely with the Orioles, with a 6.66 ERA and 1.521 WHIP, allowing 18 runs in 24 1/3 innings and five starts. Flaherty allowed four runs on six hits and one walk over 4 2/3 innings against Arizona in his last start
Like Houck, Sale will make his 17th start of the season this weekend. He has a 4.46 ERA, 3.67 FIP, and 1.161 WHIP over 82 2/3 innings, averaging 11 strikeouts per nine. The Orioles have hit Sale very hard this season, tagging him for 12 runs on 16 hits and three walks in eight innings over two starts, hitting three home runs.
Sunday, 9/10: Grayson Rodriguez vs Brayan Bello
Rodriguez and his hot streak takes the mound for the finale at Fenway. He's dropped his ERA to 4.91, WHIP to 1.364, and his FIP sits at 4.41. He's averaging a troubling 3.4 walks per nine and 1.5 home runs per nine, but he makes up for it by averaging 9.5 strikeouts per nine in 99 innings and 19 starts.
This start will be the first time Rodriguez faces the Red Sox in his young career. His last start came against the Angels, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings, striking out seven as he was credited with his fifth win of the season.
Bello will start the series finale for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old Dominican starter has a 3.61 ERA, 4.35 FIP, and 1.277 WHIP, averaging 2.5 walks per nine and 7.4 strikeouts per nine in 24 starts and 137 innings pitched.
With the Orioles getting closer to clinching a playoff spot, this series is a perfect time to draw closer to that goal by hopefully winning the series against one of their AL East Rivals. Every win matters at this time of year, so let's get this series going!