The lefties against the lefty tonight

You don’t see this too often. The Red Sox have five left-handed batters in their starting lineup tonight versus Orioles’ southpaw starter Zach Britton.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Carl Crawford all will come to bat against Britton from that side as Boston looks for its ninth win over the last 10 games. The Sox’ 8-1 record is the best in the majors since April 16.

Those five Boston batters have a combined average coming into tonight of .228 versus left-handed pitching with Ellsbury at 2-for-20, Gonzalez 7-for-33, Ortiz 8-for-33, Crawford 6-for-31 and Drew at 5-for-16.

Maybe the Sox have the right strategy going against Britton, who has given up an average of .308 this year (8-for-26) against left-handed hitters. Righty batters are hitting just .194 versus the Orioles’ rookie.

Britton has never faced Boston and this is just his second start against an American League East foe. He beat Tampa in his big league debut, giving up just one run over six innings.

In his first two starts, Britton gave up just one earned run over 13 2/3 innings. Over his last two outings, he has allowed eight ER over 12 frames.

He is the first O’s rookie starter ever with three wins by April 21st and if he wins tonight, he’ll set the record for wins by an Orioles rookie starting pitcher in the season’s first month.

Britton has thrown 32 pitches in blanking Boston in the first two innings so far this evening at the Yard.

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