ORIOLES (39-83) AT RED SOX (65-59)
7:10 p.m. ET; NESN, MASN, MLB.TV
As he takes the mound against the Baltimore Orioles (+2) on Saturday night, Boston Red Sox (-2) left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez dives deeper into uncharted territory.
The southpaw was rocked his last time out — his career-high 25th start of the season. He’ll look to rebound as Boston hosts Baltimore in the second contest of a three-game set.
Rodriguez (13-5, 4.31 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (2-5, 4.84) after the Red Sox won the opener Friday, 9-1.
Against the Cleveland Indians (+2) on Monday, Rodriguez gave up five runs on 10 hits and three walks over six innings. In his last four starts, the 26-year-old is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA as his workload has surpassed a career high at 146 1/3 innings.
“For me it’s something I’ve been trying to do a long time ago,” said Rodriguez of going deep in games “Just go out there and give innings. That’s all I want. To be healthy and go out there and throw as many innings as I can.”
The extra work could be affecting Rodriguez’s control, as he’s issued at least one free pass in each of his last 11 starts. He’s walked 34 in his last 67 1/3 innings.
Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Orioles this season and 8-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 17 games (15 starts) lifetime.
Wojciechowski, meanwhile, made his first start against the Red Sox earlier this season and allowed just one hit over 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 5-0 win on July 21. He struck out a career-high 10.
Wojciechowski has struggled in three starts this month, going 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA. He gave up three runs in six innings against the Houston Astros (-1.5) in his last outing.
The Orioles were dealt their 10th loss in their last 11 games Friday. The rough stretch comes within a run of four straight series against playoff teams from last season.
“You could’ve looked at our schedule at the beginning of the year and probably argue that this would be the toughest part. But that’s just how the cookie crumbles, and nobody feels sorry for us,” outfielder Trey Mancini said. “We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. Obviously, we haven’t been playing too well and haven’t really been playing in a lot of these games, unfortunately.”
The Red Sox are still fighting to get back in the wild-card chase, having won their last three games. New addition Chris Owings keyed Friday’s win with a two-run double with the bases loaded in the sixth, his first hit with Boston.
Several of the usual suspects have been performing particularly well for the Red Sox: J.D. Martinez is hitting .415 with 10 RBIs in his last 14 games, Rafael Devers has 45 RBIs in his previous 40 contests and Andrew Benintendi has 19 extra-base hits since July 22.
“We know where we are and we know what we have to do, but we also know that there’s so much we can control, so we try to go out there and play our best baseball and hopefully at the end of the season, we’ll be where we want to be,” said Boston skipper Alex Cora.
-Field Level Media