The Boston Red Sox have no qualms about working overtime this season, as they’ve won seven straight such contests and a majors-best 15 extra-inning games this season. After recording back-to-back 11-inning victories, the Red Sox look to inch closer to securing a postseason berth on Wednesday when they turn to Chris Sale in a bid for a three-game series sweep of the host Baltimore Orioles.
Boston slugged its way to a 10-8 triumph in the series opener before Jackie Bradley Jr. ended a defensive stalemate by following up his homer-robbing catch of Chris Davis with scoring Wednesday’s lone run on a wild pitch. The American League East-leading Red Sox (87-64), who reside three games ahead of the New York Yankees, have won 10 of its last 13 games overall to emerge a season-best 23 games over .500. While Boston is ascending, the Orioles have flown south with losses in 11 of their last 13 to sit 5 1/2 games back of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot. Trey Mancini has five extra-base hits (three doubles, triple, home run) during his nine-game hitting streak and is 2-for-6 in a small sample size versus Sale.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, NESN (Boston), MASN (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Chris Sale (16-7 2.86 ERA) vs. Orioles LH Wade Miley (8-13, 5.32)
Sale surrendered multiple home runs for the second time in three outings on Friday, but exited with a no-decision despite yielding four runs in 5 2/3 innings at Tampa Bay. The 28-year-old has limited Baltimore to a .176 batting average en route to winning both encounters this season. Sale, who is seeking to match his career high in wins, has flustered Tim Beckham (0-for-11), Davis (2-for-15) and Adam Jones (4-for-20).
Miley suffered his third straight loss in horrific fashion, allowing six runs on as many hits while retiring a career-low one batter in a 13-5 shellacking by the Yankees. “You can’t go out there and lay an egg like that,” the 30-year-old Miley said after his 19-pitch performance. “You have to go out there and I have to give us a chance, and I didn‘t.” Miley pitched significantly better in his two outings versus his former team this season, picking up a pair of wins after permitting just one run in each trip to the mound.
1. Boston 3B Rafael Devers has collected back-to-back two-hit performances in the series and is 7-for-21 versus Baltimore this season.
2. Orioles DH Mark Trumbo is 0-for-10 in his last three contests.
3. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (nasal contusion) and DH Hanley Ramirez (left arm soreness) are likely to return to the starting lineup in the series finale, according to manager John Farrell.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 2, Orioles 1