As Jon Lester faces the Orioles at Camden Yards this afternoon, maybe his aura of invincibility against them is over.
The Orioles pinned their first-ever loss on Lester the last time the Birds faced him on Sept. 21, when Lester went seven innings and gave up eight hits and four runs in a 4-2 Orioles win at Fenway Park.
While Lester is 14-1 with an ERA of 2.63 in 21 career starts against Baltimore, he was 0-1 with an ERA of 4.26 in three starts last season. The Orioles were 3-0 in those games started by Lester.
More recently, over his last five starts this year, Lester is 0-3 with a 6.90 ERA. Over 30 innings he has allowed 38 hits with 18 walks and 22 strikeouts.
Will his recent run of poor pitching continue today?
Meanwhile Miguel Gonzalez has been real good lately for the Orioles. He is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his past two starts. In five starts since returning from the disabled list on May 21, Gonzalez has an ERA of 2.76. The Orioles have won his past three starts.
A win today by the Orioles means the difference between winning or splitting this series and between moving to within 1 1/2 games of first place or falling 3 1/2 back.
From Bowie: Baysox outfielder Henry Urrutia, the Eastern League's leading hitter, is not starting for the third straight game today due to lower back soreness. He is not available today for the Baysox.
O's get the lead: The Orioles stranded runners in scoring position in the first two innings today and then got two clutch, two-out hits to take a 3-0 lead in the third. An Adam Jones RBI double made it a 1-0 lead against Lester and Chris Davis followed with a two-run homer for a 3-0 lead.
For Davis, it was No. 23 of the year and No. 100 of his career.