The next four days we have a matchup at Camden Yards of the Orioles and Red Sox. We also have a matchup of the American League’s stolen base leader and the best catcher in the AL in throwing out runners.
Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury is 29-for-31 (93.5) in stealing bases and Matt Wieters has thrown out 52.2 percent at 12-for-23.
If you can get on a roll stealing bases, Ellsbury is on one. He has stolen at least one base in his last five games, tying his career high (June 13-18, 2009) and tying the longest stretch for a Sox player since at least 1916. Ellsbury has stolen 16 bases over his last 13 games. He did not attempt a steal when the O’s played at Fenway Park in April.
Plus, he’s getting on base a lot lately, batting .440 (22-for-50) during an 11-game batting streak. Ellsbury has reached base safely in his last 16 games overall with a .403 average and .494 OBP in that time.
Wieters vs. Ellsbury. To quote my own network, who will own it?
Some other O’s and Sox notes:
* The Orioles went 13-5 against the Sox last year and won two of three at Fenway Park April 8-11. They are 11-4 in their last 15 games vs. Boston and 21-9 in the last 30. Buck Showalter is 26-19 against the Sox as O’s skipper.
The Orioles have won five straight series against Boston and eight of the last nine dating to Sept. 19, 2011. The O’s have not lost consecutive games to the Sox over the last 30 contests between the teams.
* Orioles starting pitchers have recorded a quality start (three earned runs or fewer allowed over six innings pitched or more) seven times in the last 10 games, allowing two earned runs or fewer in each of the quality starts. They had just two such starts in the previous 10 games.
* The O’s and Red Sox are tied for the major league lead with 14 series wins each. Both clubs are 14-6-2 over 22 series in 2013.
* Boston’s 41 wins are the second most in MLB behind St. Louis. The Red Sox and Atlanta are the only two teams that have been above .500 all year. At 8-3 Boston is tied with Kansas City and Oakland for the best record in MLB in June.
What is your prediction for the series?
Clark to DL: Pitcher Zach Clark, who was called up to the Orioles earlier this season and pitched May 1 vs. Seattle, has been placed on the disabled list at Double-A Bowie. I have heard that Clark is likely to be sent to the club’s Sarasota complex to continue to work on converting to a knuckleball pitcher.
Clark is 1-4 with an 8.63 ERA in six games with Bowie since using the knuckler. He has allowed 32 hits and 20 walks over 24 innings.
O’s score three in third: The Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the last of the third tonight. Danny Valencia began the inning with a solo homer to left off Felix Doubront. Later the O’s added RBI singles by Manny Machado and Chris Davis. Davis, who is now 6-for-11 in his career vs. Doubront, drove in his 55th run of the year.
Doubront entered tonight with four consecutive quality starts, matching his career long streak. He also has fanned on average 12.52 O’s per every nine innings against them in his career, his second-best rate vs. any AL team. He has two strikeouts through three innings.
Kevin Gausman pitched three scoreless to start the game on 44 pitches with four strikeouts. His changeup - both of them - were really good in the early innings tonight.