Tonight's pitchers: Hernandez vs. Beckett

RHP David Hernandez (3-2, 3.20) tonight will make his 8th start of this year, his 3rd at home and his 2nd in a row vs. the Boston Red Sox.

Hernandez is coming off back-to-back very strong starts at Yankee Stadium (one run, six innings) and Fenway Park (one run, seven innings). In those two games he pitched 13 innings, allowing eight hits and two runs for a 1.38 ERA.

Over his last four starts, he is 2-0, 2.45. The four starts were all on the road at Los Angeles, Seattle, New York and Boston.

Right-handed batters are hitting .256 off Hernandez and lefties are batting .264. He gives up an average of just .143 when pitching with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles are 4-3 in his seven starts.

In two home starts, the 24-year-old Hernandez is 1-1, 3.18.

Tonight he tries for a second straight win over Boston after pitching the Orioles to a 6-2 win there last Sunday. Over seven innings he gave up just five hits and one run. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.

Of the 21 outs he recorded in that game, 17 were fly outs or pop ups. He threw 110 pitches in that contest.

RHP Josh Beckett (12-4, 3.44) tonight will make his 21st start of 2009, his 11th on the road and his 3rd of this season vs. Baltimore.

Beckett picked up his 12th win Monday vs. Oakland, allowing three runs over seven innings. He walked just one and fanned 10.

In five July starts, he went 3-1, 3.35.

Beckett has pitched at least six innings in each of his last 15 starts, starting May 5, going 9-2, 2.33 in that span. He has not allowed an earned run in six of his last 12 starts.

Beckett is tied with five others for the Major League lead in wins. He is 4th in the AL in opponent average, 6th in strikeouts and 10th in ERA.

Beckett, 2009:
Home: 7-0, 2.58, ten starts
Road: 5-4, 4.34, ten starts

Right-handed batters are hitting just .208 off Beckett while lefties are batting .253. The Red Sox are 15-5 when he starts, winning six of his last seven outings.

Beckett vs. Baltimore:
2009: 1-0, 5.54, two starts (13IP, 12H, 8ER, 2 HR)
Career, Camden Yards: 4-1, 3.47 in seven starts
Career: 5-2, 4.05, 11 starts (73 1/3IP, 73H, 16B, 66K)

The Red Sox are 6-1 in his seven career starts at Camden Yards.

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