Ejected from Monday’s series opener for arguing a call from the dugout, Boston right-hander Derek Lowe will try to make his presence felt from the mound as the Red Sox resume a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Lowe, who is looking to extend his unbeaten streak to six starts, was tossed by second-base umpire Phil Cuzzi in the seventh inning Monday after arguing from the dugout that a go-ahead bases-clearing double by Deivi Cruz was foul.
The Orioles rallied for eight runs against the beleaguered Boston bullpen, pulling out a 13-10 victory that pushed the Red Sox 3 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
The defeat also shaved Boston’s lead in the AL wild-card race to just one game over idle Seattle.
Used primarily as a reliever in his first six major league seasons, Lowe made a big splash as a full-time starter in 2002, going 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA and finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting.
After struggling with his consistency for most of the first four months of this season, Lowe has hit his stride since a 7-3 victory at Oakland on Aug. 13. He is 3-0 in his last five outings, yielding two earned runs or fewer in all but one of those starts.
On Wednesday, Lowe limited the Chicago White Sox to two earned runs and 10 hits over seven innings, helping Boston to a 5-4, 10-inning victory.
The Orioles, who have taken eight of 13 meetings from the Red Sox this year, are apparently relishing their role as spoilers. Baltimore took two of three from playoff contenders Oakland and Seattle before Boston came to town.
Cruz went 3-for-5 with four RBIs for the Orioles, who have won five of six since a nine-game losing streak.
STANDINGS: Red Sox - 2nd place, 3 1/2 GB, AL East. Orioles - 4th place, 20 1/2 GB, AL East.
RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Lowe (14-6, 4.73 ERA). Lowe is 5-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 27 career appearances, including nine starts, against the Orioles. His last two losses came against Baltimore, on Aug. 2 and 8. He was pounded for 12 runs and 16 hits over 11 2-3 innings in those outings.
ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Damian Moss (1-3, 4.99 ERA). Moss has managed just one win in seven starts since coming to Baltimore in the trade deadline deal that sent Sidney Ponson to San Francisco. He has been reached for at least five runs in each of his last two outings, including the Orioles’ 7-5 win over Oakland on Thursday in which he lasted only 4 2-3 innings. Moss faced Boston for the first time on Aug. 9, surrendering three runs and six hits over seven solid innings. However, he did not receive a decision in Baltimore’s 6-4 loss.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Red Sox - Bill Mueller, .326 avg.; Manny Ramirez, 31 HRs; Nomar Garciaparra, 95 RBIs and 111 runs; Johnny Damon, 26 SBs. Orioles - Jay Gibbons, .278 avg., 93 RBIs and 73 runs; Tony Batista, 24 HRs; Brian Roberts, 21 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Orioles, 8-5.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Red Sox - OF Damon hit his 100th career homer Monday. He had been stuck on 99 since Aug. 3. … OF Ramirez is riding a season-high 13-game hitting streak. … C Brook Fordyce is hitting .421 (8-for-19) with four RBIs in his career against RHP Lowe. Orioles - DH David Segui underwent surgery Monday to repair tendon damage in his left wrist. He expects to be ready for spring training. … DH B.J. Surhoff was a late scratch Monday with a stiff back. … 3B Mueller is 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs against LHP Moss.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Sox - 37-36 on the road; Orioles - 38-34 at home.
INJURIES: Red Sox - OF-DH Jeremy Giambi (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Bob Howry (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Robert Person (hip), 60-day DL. Orioles - 1B Segui (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Omar Daal (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Willis Roberts (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL.