We’ve asked this a few times before, but will this be the night that the Orioles finally pin a loss on Jon Lester? He is 14-0 with an ERA of 2.49 in 20 career starts against them.
That is the longest win streak ever against the O’s franchise to begin a career. It also marks the longest current win streak by any active pitcher versus any team.
But while the Orioles have been unable to pin a loss on Lester, they have beaten the Red Sox the last three times Lester has started against them. Lester has an ERA of 3.50 in those outings, allowing 17 hits with eight walks and 12 strikeouts over 18 innings.
The first of those three was the last day of last season when they shocked the Red Sox with that bottom-of-the-ninth inning comeback at Camden Yards that knocked them out of the postseason. Lester was in line for that win, but Jonathan Papelbon took the loss.
Twice this season, Lester started at Fenway Park against the Orioles, but the Birds won 6-4 in 13 innings on May 4 and 8-6 in 10 innings on June 5.
The Orioles would certainly take a win over the Sox tonight even if they once again can’t pin a loss on Lester’s personal record.
Based on how the three pitchers the Orioles will face this weekend have pitched in the second half, it would seem the O’s have a shot against this trio in this series.
Lester is 4-6 with a 5.64 ERA in 12 starts since the All-Star break and he is 3-8 with a 6.51 ERA in 16 home starts in 2012. Boston’s Saturday starter, Aaron Cook, has a 5.12 ERA in the second half and Felix Doubront, starting Sunday, has an ERA of 6.35 in 10 post All-Star game starts.
Here are some numbers on the O’s recent success against Boston:
* The Orioles are 8-4 this year versus the Sox.
* They are 5-1 this year at Fenway Park and 7-1 in their last eight games there.
* They are 13-6 in their last 19 games against Boston
In fact, the Orioles had won a club-record seven straight games at Fenway Park until a loss in their most recent game there on June 7.
Mark Reynolds, who has not homered in his last 10 games, has hit very well against Boston this season. He is 13-for-30 (.433) with four doubles, five homers, 14 RBIs and a 1.617 OPS in nine games.