The Red Sox come into Camden Yards tonight for a three-game series against the O’s. The O’s completed a three-game sweep of the Angels on Sunday and held them to just one run in three games. This is an extremely good sign for the O’s considering they usually have a couple double digit losing streaks at the end of the season. But it looks as if Buck Showalter isn’t going to allow his team to lay down this season, which is a very good sign for O’s fans. The Red Sox have been plagued by injuries all season and currently sit seven games behind both the Yankees and Rays in the AL East and Wild Card standings. They missed a chance on gaining ground after losing two of three at the Rays over the weekend. The two teams have split the season series so far, with both teams grabbing six wins each.

Tuesday, August 31, 7:05pm
Red Sox – Josh Beckett (4-3, 6.50 ERA)
Orioles – Brian Matusz (6-12, 4.79 ERA)

Beckett won his last start against the Mariners, allowing three earned runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings. He was coming off three horrible performances in a row where he gave up 19 earned runs and 28 hits in just 16 innings, all Red Sox losses. He has struggled on the road this season going 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA. Matusz continued his dominance last Wednesday against the White Sox, allowing just one earned run and three hits in seven innings of work. He has finally started to live up to his potential and has allowed one run or fewer in four of his last five starts. Matusz has faced the Red Sox twice in his career and is 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA and 19 strikeouts.

Wednesday, September 1, 7:05pm
Red Sox – Jon Lester (14-8, 3.12 ERA)
Orioles – Jake Arrieta (4-6, 5.10 ERA)

Lester has been dominant on the road this season, posting an 8-3 record and a 2.27 ERA. He outpitched AL Cy Young hopeful David Price in his last outing, pitching seven innings and allowing an unearned run on two hits while striking out 10 and walking five. Lester has never lost to the O’s and owns a career 12-0 record and a 2.00 ERA including a 2-0 record and a 0.47 ERA this season. Arrieta had yet another short outing last Thursday against the White Sox. He threw 85 pitches through just four innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in an 8-0 O’s loss. He has lost his last three starts, but has only gotten two runs of support in those outings.

Thursday, September 2, 7:05pm
Red Sox – Daisuke Matsuzaka (8-4, 4.19 ERA)
Orioles – Brad Bergesen (6-9, 5.55 ERA)

Back problems kept Dice-K from making his last start, but will make his next scheduled start against the O’s on Thursday. In his last start against the Blue Jays on August 21, he gave up four earned runs on six hits in a Red Sox win. That was his third consecutive game of allowing at least four runs and six hits. Bergesen continued to lower his ERA while adding to his win total with a solid performance against the Angels last Wednesday. He has now won three consecutive starts after losing seven in a row. He was efficient with his pitches and only threw 102 through eight innings of one-run, four-hit ball while striking out four and walking none. Bergesen ended his excellent month of August where he posted a 3-0 record and a 2.72 ERA.

Submitted by Steve Giles