Baltimore (69-78) at Boston (89-59)

Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Sep 20, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston Red Sox have some ground to make up.

After a disappointing series with the AL East-leading New York Yankees, the Red Sox look to claw their way back up the division standings as they open a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox lost 11-1 to the Yankees on Sunday, dropping 4 1/2 games behind New York in the East—their largest deficit since before games of Aug. 31. Boston was outscored 25-5 in the last two games of the three-game series after beating New York 3-2 on Friday.

“They put us in the rearview mirror a little bit,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Staff ace Pedro Martinez allowed a season high-tying eight runs in just five-plus innings, giving up homers to Gary Sheffield, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. Johnny Damon singled in Boston’s only run.

The Red Sox, who are 25-7 in their last 32 games, had not dropped a series since Aug. 13-15, when they lost two of three to the Chicago White Sox. They lost consecutive games for just the second time since Aug. 7.

“I stunk. That’s all I can say,” said Boston catcher Jason Varitek, who went 0-for-10 with eight strikeouts in the series. “We were fortunate to grab one. They swung the bats really well, I give them a lot of credit.”

Despite the losses, the Red Sox still hold a 5 1/2 -game lead over the Anaheim Angels in the AL wild card race.

“If we get to the playoffs, believe me, we’re not going to be the ones who are scared,” Martinez said.

The Orioles lost 5-1 to Johan Santana and the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Sunday, snapping a three-game winning streak. Rafael Palmeiro drive in the lone run on a pinch-hit single for Baltimore, which had 14 strikeouts.

The Orioles had outscored the Twins 23-5 in the first two games of the three-game set.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Riley SD vs. T. Wakefield Bos
3-4 Record 12-10
5.63 ERA 4.87
60 K 116
44 BB 63
1.63 WHIP 1.38