Well, I guess when you go just 2-16 vs. a team like the Orioles did last year vs. the Red Sox, it is hard to not do better the next season.
But in 2010 the Orioles are 2-2 vs. the Red Sox and the O’s have won the last two games vs. Boston, each in ten innings.
O’s first four games vs. Boston:
2009: 0-4 and outscored 30-14
2010: 2-2 and each team has scored 21 runs
Friday’s win ended the O’s seven-game home losing streak vs. Boston.
Four to score and win: The Orioles are now 5-3 when scoring four runs or more and 0-15 when scoring less than four. The O’s are now 2-1, while Boston falls to 1-4 in extra-inning games.
So now the Orioles, after winning just seven games combined vs. Boston and NY last year, are 3-4 in a 12-game stretch vs. the AL East powers.
The Orioles have won three of the last five games and yes, that is easily their best five-game stretch of this season. When a club started 2-16, you take that as a better sign.
David Hernandez on his start Friday: “The home run pitches and all the ball four pitches I’d like to have back. I think I gave up, what, three hits. Anytime you give up three hits to that lineup you are doing something right, but the walks and pitch count, that’s about it.
“At times I was getting too quick with my delivery and my wind up. Dave told me when that starts to happen to take some time and step off the mound.
“I feel like I can pitch against these guys and have some success. I just need to get deeper into games. I put too much stress on our bullpen. I need to start getting to the 6th or 7th inning to save some arms.”
Hernandez’s line: 5 1/3IP, 3H, 2R-ER, 5B, 3K, 2 HR.....96 pitches.
Hernandez needed just 41 pitches to complete three innings, then threw 55 over the next 2 1/3.
Walk this way: O’s pitchers issued a season-high ten walks with eight strikeouts. It was the third time on the year the O’s walked more than they struck out.
Miguel Tejada, in four games this year vs. Boston is 9 for 18 with two homers and 5 RBI. Over his last eight games, he is 14 for 32 (.438) with two homers, six RBI and six multi-hit games.
Nick Markakis on the O’s playing better vs. Boston: “It’s getting better and it’s only going to get better. We know what we are up against in the division and what the Red Sox have to offer. Last year is behind us, now we just try to come out and win every game.”
Over the last eight games, Markakis is batting .382 (13 for 34) with five doubles and five multi-hit games.
For the Red Sox, nine of their last 10 games have been decided by two runs or less and Boston is 7-2 in those games. The Red Sox are 7-3 over the last ten games and now 3-1 on a six-game road trip. They are 6-8 vs. the AL East.
J.D. Drew entered Friday’s game with two homers on the season in 72 at bats and a .306 slugging percentage. But he hit his 3rd homer in the second inning and his 4th in the eighth frame. It’s his 16th career multi-homer game.
Saturday at 7:05, Brad Bergesen pitches vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Orioles will have to make a roster move before the game to get Bergesen back on the 25-man active roster.
Bergesen is 0-2, 12.19 in three big league starts 2010 and was sent to Triple-A for one start after he gave up seven runs over 2 2/3 on April 19 at Seattle.
Bergesen has allowed 21 hits in 10 1/3 on the year as the AL is batting .420 vs. him. He is 0-1, 2.57 in two career starts vs. Boston.
Matsuzaka will be coming off the disabled list to make his first Major League start of this season. He went on the DL April 3rd with a neck strain.
In three starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, he went 2-0, 1.62 and gave up 11 hits over 16 2/3 innings. Right-handed batters went just 3 for 26 against him in those outings.
In one start last year vs. Baltimore, he was 1-0, 5.06 and Matsuzaka is 3-1, 4.78 in six career starts vs. the O’s.