Boston (48-36) at Baltimore (45-39)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 45° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Fri Jul 8, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Boston’s Bronson Arroyo and Baltimore’s Sidney Ponson both got off to spectacular starts.

However, both right-handers will be looking to rediscover their early season form when the AL East-leading Red Sox and second-place Orioles continue a four-game series at Camden Yards.

Arroyo, one of Boston’s postseason heroes from last October, was 4-0 with a 3.18 ERA after six starts, but has gone 2-5 over his last 11 outings, and is coming off consecutive losses.

Ponson opened the year with a 5-1 mark, helping the Orioles run out to an early lead in the division race. However, he has also gone just 2-5 since his fast start, watching his ERA grow to 5.80—second-worst among Baltimore starters.

Arroyo was reached for three runs and eight hits over eight innings in a 5-2 loss to Toronto on Sunday. He struck out three and walked one in a solid performance but was outdueled by Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay.

Ponson is coming off a brutal performance in a 9-4 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. He surrendered six runs and six hits over 1 1-3 innings, walking two and striking out one while matching his shortest outing of the season. Ponson also lasted just 1 1-3 innings in Baltimore’s 12-8 win at Kansas City on May 17.

Baltimore took the series opener 3-1 in a rain-shortened six-inning game.

Eli Marrero and Melvin Mora hit solo home runs, and Sammy Sosa added his first RBI since June 19 for the Orioles, who ended a three-game losing streak and pulled within three games of first-place Boston.

Baltimore’s Rafael Palmeiro went 0-for-3 to remain seven hits shy of becoming the fourth player in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

Earlier in the day, the Red Sox obtained infielder Alex Cora from the Cleveland Indians for Ramon Vazquez. Cora played shortstop and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in place of injured leadoff hitter Johnny Damon, who has a sore shoulder.

The Red Sox had a two-game winning streak snapped.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Arroyo Ari vs. S. Ponson KC
14-10 Record 7-11
4.51 ERA 6.21
100 K 68
54 BB 48
1.30 WHIP 1.73