Drew Pomeranz has emerged victorious in back-to-back starts and 10 of his last 11 decisions to reside one win shy of Cleveland’s Corey Kluber for the most in the American League. Pomeranz looks to continue his career year on Tuesday as the visiting Boston Red Sox aim to strengthen their hold atop the AL East in the second contest of a three-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles.
Pitching wasn’t the name of the game in the series opener, as the Red Sox overcame an early five-run deficit and Andrew Benintendi capped the uprising with a two-run single in the 11th inning of a 10-8 victory. The 23-year-old has 16 hits, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored in his last nine contests for AL East-leading Boston, which has won nine of their last 12 and resides three games ahead of the New York Yankees. Baltimore’s Manny Machado slowly is putting a woeful 0-for-16 stretch in his rear-view mirror with a hit in each of his last two games, but is just 2-for-11 in his career versus Pomeranz. The Orioles’ faint playoff aspirations have taken a significant hit as the team has dropped 10 of 12 to sit 5 1/2 games in back of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (16-5, 3.28 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.83)
Pomeranz turned in his second straight six-inning stint on Thursday after allowing one run on five hits in a 6-2 victory over Oakland. The 28-year-old faced Baltimore three times in his first five starts of the season, posting a 2-1 mark while surrendering just five runs while striking out 17 in 16 2/3 innings. Pomeranz has flustered Jonathan Schoop (1-for-9, four strikeouts), Mark Trumbo (2-for-10) and Adam Jones (3-for-14), although Welington Castillo (3-for-8, one homer) has found some success versus the hurler.
Gausman recorded his third strong performance in his last four outings on Wednesday, yielding one run on six hits over seven innings in a 2-1 win over Toronto. The 26-year-old began that stretch by scattering four hits over 7 2/3 frames in a 7-0 rout at Boston on Aug. 26. Gausman, who has allowed one or no earned runs in seven of his past 11 starts, owns a 1-2 mark in three turns versus the Red Sox this seasondespite limiting the club to a .226 batting average.
1. Boston RF Mookie Betts is 7-for-20 with a homer, six RBIs and three runs scored in his last four games.
2. Baltimore LF Trey Mancini has five extra-base hits (three doubles, triple, home run) during his eight-game hitting streak.
3. Orioles minor-league pitcher Miguel Gonzalez passed away Monday, two days after the 21-year-old was involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.
PREDICTION: Orioles 4, Red Sox 3