Manager: John Farrell (4th season)
Last 10 games: 6-4
Who to watch: DH David Ortiz (.339/.420/.720 with 13 HR, 46 RBIs), SS Xander Bogaerts (.351/.401/.514 with 6 HR, 28 RBIs), CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (.333/.409/.592 with 8 HR, 36 RBIs), RHP Steven Wright (4-4, 2.52 ERA), RHP Craig Kimbrel (3.10 ERA, 12 saves)
Season series vs. Orioles: 1-2
May 30: RHP Steven Wright vs. RHP Tyler Wilson, 1:35 p.m., MASN
May 31: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez vs. RHP Kevin Gausman, 7:05 p.m., MASN
June 1: RHP Joe Kelly vs. RHP Mike Wright, 7:05 p.m., MASN
June 2: RHP Rick Porcello vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, 7:05 p.m., MASN
Inside the Red Sox:
To wrap up this Memorial Day weekend, the Red Sox will kick off their first series at Camden Yards of the 2016 season with a matinee game against the Orioles. Both teams will don special Memorial Day uniforms today for the holiday, and Boston will be coming in hot wearing them.
By now, we've all heard about center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s 29-game hitting streak that ended Thursday night, but he's not the only one on the club who's been hot at the plate. In fact, the whole team has been hot. The Red Sox now lead the majors in batting average (.295), slugging percentage (.483), OPS (.842), runs (295), hits (526) and RBIs (283). So yeah, the offense is clicking.
Over the course of that hitting streak, Bradley Jr. slashed .415/.488/.783, collecting 44 hits, eight home runs and 30 RBIs. He's raised his average by .100 points to now .333 for the season. Meanwhile, slugger David Ortiz continues to do during his farewell campaign what he's always done: crushing baseballs. Ortiz is slashing .339/.420/.720 and leads the team with 13 homers and 46 RBIs. Although, Ortiz was scratched from yesterday's game with a foot injury after being hit by a pitch on Saturday. Longtime Red Sox Dustin Pedroia is hitting a solid .308 with six longballs and 24 RBIs, including the eventual game-winning knock in the 11th inning of Boston's 5-3 win over Toronto yesterday. And on top of all that, shortstop Xander Bogaerts is tied for the second-best average in baseball at .351.
Right-handed knuckleballer Steven Wright will start for the Red Sox in today's afternoon game. He is 4-4 with a 2.52 ERA and has earned a decision in all but one of his nine starts this season, including two complete games. However, he has never earned a decision against the Orioles, bringing his 1.59 ERA over 5 2/3 innings against the Birds, all at Camden Yards, to his first start against the club. Former Orioles prospect Eduardo Rodriguez will be activated off the disabled list with a knee injury to make the start on Tuesday night, moving Clay Buchholz to the bullpen. The left-handed Rodriguez is 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA in three starts against his former organization, but has a 0.79 ERA in two starts at Camden Yards.
The Red Sox starter for Wednesday, Joe Kelly, is 2-0 over his first five starts of the season, but is posting a 6.30 ERA. Kelly was roughed up by the Blue Jays in his first start of the season and in his latest, but pitched a one-hit gem in 6 2/3 innings against the Indians in his first start back from the disabled list. Before his injury, Kelly gave up two runs on seven hits and five walks over five innings in a win over the Orioles on April 13. Right-hander Rick Porcello will start the series finale on Thursday, brining his 7-2 record and 3.68 ERA to Baltimore. After winning his first four starts with a 2.76 ERA, Porcello went 2-2 with 4.65 ERA over his next five outings, with the Red Sox losing three of them. He is 3-7 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 career starts against the Orioles.
Much has been made of the Orioles' recent success against the Red Sox, especially at Fenway Park, having already won two of three in the team's first series this season in Beantown. But the Sox haven't done much better in Charm City, either. Last year, the Orioles won the season series 11-8, with the Red Sox going just 2-7 at Camden Yards, which could come into play in this series for first place in the American League East.