Thu, 01 Dec 2022

Chasing final AL wild card, Orioles face scuffling Red Sox

Field Level Media
26 Sep 2022, 15:05 GMT+10

The Baltimore Orioles picked the wrong time to squander a couple of chances to win key games.

That leads to a more heightened sense of urgency moving forward for a team that's four games out of the third and final wild card in the American League.

The next assignment comes against the host Boston Red Sox on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.

The Orioles (79-73) had won three in a row until a pair of tough results to conclude a four-game home series with the Houston Astros. Baltimore failed to protect a lead in an 11-10 setback Saturday and then fell 6-3 in 11 innings Sunday.

Manager Brandon Hyde said those were disappointing outcomes because the Orioles "should have won" those games.

Yet while the Orioles split the series with the AL-leading Astros, there was a degree of pride coming from the way they performed.

"This team has a lot of fight," pitcher Austin Voth said. "I'm excited for the next series. ... You've got to show up the next day and continue to play. This team, time and time again, late in innings is always fighting to try to get that 'W'. I have a lot of faith in us."

The Red Sox (72-80) had a long weekend for other reasons. They dropped Sunday night's 2-0 rain-shortened decision to the host New York Yankees, a result that came after a long delay.

Baltimore and Boston occupy the bottom two spots in the AL East. The Red Sox were officially eliminated from postseason contention Sunday as they were swept by the Yankees for their fifth straight loss.

"We felt we had a good team coming into the season and we just didn't perform," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "We were very inconsistent in a lot of aspects."

Orioles right-hander Jordan Lyles (11-11, 4.50 ERA) is coming off a career highlight with his first complete game since 2012 last week in a three-hitter against the Detroit Tigers.

The Orioles were in ideal shape in terms of available pitching for the past weekend.

"That's always helpful during this long stretch at the end of the year with a lot of meaningful games still to go," Lyles said, hoping he can duplicate that type of performance.

There's no reason that can't happen.

"The guy is the same day in and day out," Orioles catcher Robinson Chirinos said. "He's doing it the right way. He's teaching these younger guys how to go about their business."

Yet with the wild scoring-fest Saturday and the extra-innings game Sunday, Baltimore's pitching is a bit more taxed heading into this week.

Lyles is 2-2 with a 6.98 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox.

On the pitching front, the Red Sox might have benefitted from the rain-shortened game Sunday because they used only one pitcher.

Boston right-hander Connor Seabold (0-3, 10.47) has been tagged for 11 runs in 7 2/3 innings over his last two starts. He's still aiming for his first victory in the majors as he prepares to face the Orioles for the first time.

Seabold was summoned back to the Red Sox for a start last week. He looked better than in a previous call-up, so that's encouraging for Boston.

"The slider was better than I remember early in the season," Cora said. "You cannot control (bad luck). You can control attacking the zone and he did a good job with that."

On Sunday, Seabold was named Pitcher of the Year for Triple-A Worcester.

--Field Level Media

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