Saturday baseball: Boston at Orioles

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Boston (87-59) at Orioles (60-87)

If it seems like the Orioles lose a lot of close games vs. Boston, well, they do.

The Orioles are just 2-14 vs. the Sox this year. The clubs have played nine games decided by two runs or less and the O's are just 1-8 in those nine.

Boston has won six in a row vs. the O's and over a longer stretch, is 21-3 over 24 games vs. Baltimore.

Boston is 6-1 at Camden Yards this year and is 27-10 in its last 37 contests at Camden Yards.

Tonight, the O's try again to knock off the Sox. It's game two of a three-game series at 7:05 p.m.

David Hernandez (4-8, 5.40) will start for the Orioles vs. Boston lefty Jon Lester (13-7, 3.29) who is 9-0 in his career vs. the Orioles.

The Red Sox starting pitching has been excellent lately and that continued Friday night. Clay Buchholz gave up just one run and five hits over six frames as Boston beat the Birds, 3-1.

Buchholz has pitched to an ERA of 1.57 over his last five games.

Over the last 11 games, Boston starters are 6-1, 1.77.

Boston has won eight of its last nine games, 14 of 19 and 21 of the last 29. The Red Sox now hold a seven-game lead in the wild-card race over Texas and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is ten.

Boston's Victor Martinez is batting .361 (22 for 61) during his 17-game batting streak.

The Orioles have scored just one run over the last two games. In the past three games, the O's have just 14 hits, five runs and a team average of .157.

O's offense, Tuesday vs. Tampa: 10 runs, 16 hits
O's offense, last three games since: 5 runs, 14 hits

The O's recently struggling bullpen is starting to turn it around. Over the last four games, the O's pen has allowed just 2ER over 14 innings for a 1.29 ERA.

Nick Markakis is struggling at bat right now, with just three hits in 28 at bats over his last seven games.

The Birds are 2-3 on this seven-game homestand and are 36-40 at home on the year.

Selected Sox hitters vs. Orioles in 2009:
Drew: 14-42/3/10
Ellsbury: 31-72/2/8
Lowell: 13-34/0/8
Martinez: 10-21/0/9
Ortiz: 17-64/3/11
Pedroia: 27-68/3/15
Varitek: 10-37/1/6
Youkilis: 24-58/6/16

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