Can O’s beat Chris Sale to avoid four-game sweep today?

After allowing 19 runs in a series-opening loss to Boston on Friday night, the Orioles gave up 11 runs in two games Saturday. But they still lost twice to Boston, dropping both ends of the day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards.

The Orioles are 2-13 versus Boston this year and 1-7 against the Red Sox at Oriole Park. Boston is 12-1 in its last 13 games in Baltimore.

The Orioles’ Trey Mancini said Boston has just had the answer for about anything the Orioles do in this 2018 season.

“Yeah, and you can’t give them any chance to stay in the game,” he said. “Like early on, we had a chance to put a couple more runs across and didn’t do it. If you let them hang around, same thing last night, we were up 8-3 and they hovered around a little bit. They are such a good team over there obviously and you can’t make many mistakes against them or they will take advantage and that’s what they’ve done the past two days.”

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Boston has won by scores of 19-12, 5-0 and 6-4 in this series. They can sweep four straight with a win today. They last swept four in Baltimore from Sept. 19-22, 2016.

O’s starting pitchers Jimmy Yacabonis and Yefry Ramirez held their own and did some nice things in the doubleheader. But still neither pitcher got deep in the game and the O’s bullpen has had a rough series. O’s pitching has allowed 30 runs in the three games. The Orioles bullpen has thrown 12 1/3 innings in the series allowing 16 hits, 17 runs, 13 walks and three homers. Boston has homered eight times in the series.

On the bright side, Mancini had a big game in the nightcap. He went 3-for-3 with two singles, a solo homer, two RBIs and two walks. He reached base a career-high five times. Mancini’s offense has come to life since the All-Star Game.

He hit .216/.292/.363 before the break and is batting .288/.313/.488 after. His OPS was .655 before the All-Star game and is .801 since.

“Yeah I’ve been feeling really good since the break,” said Mancini. “I didn’t really have like an epiphany or anything. The last thing Manny (Machado) told me before he left was keep working hard and keep appreciating the game and giving it your all and loving it. And eventually it will start loving you back.

“I did work with Brady (Anderson), Cooley (Scott Coolbaugh) and Howie (Clark) a lot on staying on my backside. If there was one change, that was it. But besides that, some things just started to turn. Sometimes when you have confidence, balls fall in. When you don’t they find a glove. It’s funny how it works, but just trying to stay confident out there.”

Mancini’s night included a solo homer to right off Boston closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth. It was his 17th homer of the year and just the second allowed by Kimbrel in 85 at-bats versus right-handed hitters. Righty batters are slugging just .271 off Kimbrel.

“He is one of the best pitchers in the game,” Mancini said. “You want to stay short and put a good swing on it. You never think home run off him, they just kind of happen. So, two strikes, you go up there and battle. And that is what I tried to do.”

J.D. Martinez hit his major league leading 36th and 37th homers last night. He has three multi-homer games this year and all three have come off O’s pitchers. Martinez is batting .345 with nine homers in 15 games versus the Orioles - his most homers against any opponent.

So today, to avoid getting swept four straight, the Orioles have to beat Chris Sale (11-4, 2.04 ERA) or least win a game that he starts. Sale is coming off the disabled list today and his numbers over his last six starts are amazing. He has thrown five scoreless outings in that span, going 5-0 with an ERA of 0.23, allowing one run in 39 innings with six walks to 67 strikeouts.

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