Opposite dugout: Struggling Red Sox meet O's for last time this season

red-sox-square.jpgManager: John Farrell, second year Record: 66-87 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: DH David Ortiz (.261/.355/.504, 27 doubles, 32 HR, 99 RBIs); LF Yoenis Cespedes (.257/.300/.451, 35 doubles, 21 HR, 95 RBIs, 84 R); RHP Rubby De La Rosa (5-7, 4.31 ERA, 1.47 WHIP); RHP Joe Kelly (4-4, 4.28 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) Season series vs. O's: 6-10, 52 runs scored, 73 runs allowed Pitching probables Sept. 19: Allen Webster vs. Kevin Gausman, 7 p.m., MASN HD Sept. 20: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Chris Tillman, 7 p.m., MASN HD Sept. 21: Joe Kelly vs. Miguel Gonzalez, 1:30 p.m., MASN HD Series breakdown The Red Sox won't have a chance to get back at the Orioles for keeping them out of the playoffs in 2011, as Baltimore has already secured the American League East title. But last-place Boston can be a spoiler of sorts by making a dent in the Orioles' hopes of finishing with home-field advantage and the best record in baseball as the teams meet for the last time this season. The Red Sox have nothing left to play for but pride, having been eliminated from the division and wild card races with a week remaining in the regular season. The Orioles, on the other hand, are just 2 1/2 games behind the Angels for the majors' top mark. Boston will have to perform better than it has lately if it wants some measure of revenge, as it has been going in the opposite direction from Baltimore. The Red Sox have lost eight of 11 while the Orioles have won 10 of 11. Boston was outscored 16-3 in being swept the last three games in Pittsburgh and has scored two runs or fewer in seven of its last 11 contests. The Red Sox have some excitement brewing with outfielder Rusney Castillo reaching the majors and debuting on Wednesday. Boston signed the Cuban defector to a seven-year, $72.5 million in August, and he's expected to be a big part of the club's offense going forward. He went 1-for-4 in his first game. Pitching has been the Red Sox's strength this season, more specifically their bullpen. Boston ranks ninth in the AL with a 4.02 team ERA, fifth with a 3.27 relievers' ERA and 13th with a 4.40 starters' ERA. Since the All-Star break, they haven't been as good, standing 13th in the AL with a 4.33 team ERA in 58 games. Former Oriole Koji Uehara (2.56 ERA), right-hander Burke Badenhop (2.37 ERA) and right-hander Junichi Tazawa (2.92 ERA) have been the keys to the bullpen's success. But Uehara was removed from the closer role after blowing three saves in four appearances from Aug. 22 to Sept. 4. He has bounced back with two scoreless innings in limited use since. Former Cardinals closer Edward Mujica took over the ninth inning Sept. 5, and has converted all three of his save opportunities while posting a 3.18 ERA in six appearances. As for the starters this weekend, the Red Sox will send out a trio of right-handers that have combined for four appearances (three starts) against the Orioles. Allen Webster (4-3, 6.02 ERA) will start against Kevin Gausman in a matchup between rookie starters. Webster, 24, is coming off his first quality start since Aug. 19, as he held the Royals to two runs in six innings last Friday. Rubby De La Rosa (4-7, 4.31 ERA) faces Chris Tillman on Saturday. De La Rosa looks to get on track after failing to pitch more than 5 1/3 innings in each of his last four starts, during which time he's 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA. Joe Kelly (4-4, 4.28 ERA) wraps up the series on Sunday against Miguel Gonzalez. Kelly will be making his first career start at Camden Yards and second against the Orioles. He has been solid of late, pitching to a 3.60 ERA over his last five outings. The pitching staff needs to be stingy because the offense doesn't provide much support. The Red Sox have scored the fewest runs in the AL (583), rank 14th with a .242 average and a .680 OPS, and 12th with 113 homers. Even so, designated hitter David Ortiz is tied for sixth in the AL with 32 homers, tied for fifth with 99 RBIs and ranks ninth with an .859 OPS. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes is tied for eighth in the AL with 35 doubles, tied for 11th with 84 runs and tied for ninth with 95 RBIs while hitting 21 homers and posting a .751 OPS. The key for the Orioles the next three days will be to not experience a letdown against the AL East's last-place club, and one that's struggling at that, in order to keep pushing toward home-field advantage. The Red Sox, on the other hand, will be looking to stall that quest.

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