Baltimore (12-7) at Boston (11-8)

Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Apr 25, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

David Wells shut out the hot-hitting Baltimore Orioles in his last outing to extend his run of scoreless innings to 15.

Wells looks to continue that trend and help the Boston Red Sox knock the Orioles from atop the American League East when the teams begin a three-game series at Fenway Park.

The 41-year-old Wells allowed just three hits in eight innings against the Orioles in an 8-0 win at Baltimore on Wednesday to earn his second straight win. He nearly went out for the final three outs, but Boston manager Terry Francona opted to lift him after the top of the ninth inning dragged on.

“My heart was wanting to send him out there for the ninth, but my head won out,” Francona said. “I don’t think it was right for the rest of the season. He understood. He was good about it.”

The burly left-hander, who blanked Tampa Bay for seven innings of a 10-0 win on April 15, has not allowed a run since losing his first two starts.

“I’m just trying to be the old me, hitting my spots and keeping the offense off stride,” said Wells, who lowered his ERA from 8.44 to 3.51. “That’s a good offense over there.”

Baltimore had won eight of its last 11 games and scored at least seven runs in five of six. The Orioles continued their scoreless drought as the Red Sox swept the two-game set with a 1-0 win behind eight stellar innings from right-hander Matt Clement, who starts for Boston on Tuesday.

Baltimore, which was shutout in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2003, rebounded with a three-game sweep of Toronto, including a 7-1 win on Sunday. The Orioles scored a combined 24 runs and with 39 hits in the weekend series.

Sammy Sosa homered twice for his first multihomer game with Baltimore and 67th of his career, tying him for third all-time with Mark McGwire. Only Barry Bonds (68) and Babe Ruth (72) have more.

“It’s very nice to be in that category, but there’s no time to celebrate it because it’s just the beginning of the year,” said Sosa.

Boston avoided being swept by lowly Tampa Bay with an 11-3 rout on Sunday. Jay Payton hit a grand slam and Manny Ramirez homered one pitch after nearly being plunked in an ejection-filled game.

Boston manager Terry Francona, starter Bronson Arroyo and outfielder Trot Nixon were all ejected in the seventh inning following a sequence of inside pitches and two bench-clearing scuffles.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Chen Cle vs. D. Wells LAD
13-10 Record 15-7
3.83 ERA 4.45
133 K 107
63 BB 21
1.27 WHIP 1.31