BOSTON - The Orioles will face their third left-hander in four games this afternoon with the Red Sox starting Eduardo Rodriguez in the series finale.
Manager Buck Showalter must decide whether to keep Chris Davis in the lineup or start Trey Mancini or Mark Trumbo at first base. Davis struck out four times last night to run his streak to six going back to Friday night and his average is down to .166. He also has a .272 slugging percentage.
In 27 at-bats against Rodriguez, Davis has collected only five hits and racked up 14 strikeouts. He has one home run.
Last night’s game left Davis with 1,262 strikeouts in his eight seasons with the Orioles, second on the club’s all-time list behind Cal Ripken Jr., who totaled 1,305 over 21 seasons. I’ll save you the math. Davis is only 43 behind the Hall of Famer.
Adam Jones is third with 1,195 strikeouts, followed in the top 10 by Brady Anderson with 1,132, Boog Powell with 1,102, Brooks Robinson with 990, Eddie Murray with 969, Ken Singleton with 860, Mark Belanger with 829 and Melvin Mora with 821.
Twenty-seven of Davis’ strikeouts have come in 16 games this month, eight in the last three games and 17 in the last eight. He’s only 5-for-36 against left-handers this season, including a double and three of his four home runs.
Joey Rickard started in right field against left-handers David Price and Drew Pomeranz. Craig Gentry is 3-for-25 (.120) with seven strikeouts against southpaws this season, hurting his chances of getting more regular playing time in these situations.
The glove and speed work, but the Orioles are trying to pump life into an offense that tends to fade on them. Their lineup last night included averages of .227, .194, .193 and .170. Gentry is batting .206 and Jace Peterson is hitting .185.
Danny Valencia figures to start at third base today because he bats from the right side. He’s 3-for-14 with a double lifetime against Rodriguez. Trumbo is 4-for-20 with a home run. Manny Machado is 6-for-28 with two doubles. Gentry is 1-for-6 with three strikeouts.
David Hess will make his second major league start after the Orioles officially recall him from Triple-A Norfolk. He was expected to be in Boston no matter his role. Starter or long reliever behind Miguel Castro, who pitched again last night to bow out of the competition.
A reliever probably will be removed from the 25-man roster. There are three left-handers in the bullpen. How many do the Orioles need for their upcoming series against the White Sox?
Hess earned the win in his debut in Game 1 of a May 12 doubleheader after holding the Rays to three runs over six innings. Matt Duffy’s three-run shot in the first was the only damage against Hess, who didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.
The former fifth-round pick worked on three days’ rest in his debut. He’ll be going on extended rest today, considering that he hasn’t pitched since facing the Rays.
Rain is in the forecast again today and I’m shocked that last night’s game started on time and proceeded without interruption. It had postponement written all over it, but we got only light precipitation.
The Orioles have won only seven times in 18 games when scoring first. They took a 1-0 lead last night in the third inning on Jonathan Schoop’s sacrifice fly.
It probably comes as no surprise that the Orioles have lost all eight games this season when surrendering at least three home runs, as they did last night, and 15 straight since Aug. 19, 2017.
Mancini owns a .388 average (19-for-49) in 13 career games at Fenway Park.