Boston (23-14) at Baltimore (18-22)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed May 17, 2006
  • TV: NESN, CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston Red Sox are on top of the American League East thanks in large part to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Red Sox try for their 14th straight win over the Orioles when the teams wrap up a three-game series Wednesday at Camden Yards.

Boston beat Baltimore 6-5 on Tuesday for their eighth win over the Orioles this season. The Red Sox, who moved a season-best nine games over .500, lead the New York Yankees by one game in the AL East.

Boston (23-14) has won eight of its last 10 games—five of those victories coming against Baltimore. The Red Sox also swept the Orioles April 7-9 en route to a 6-1 start to the season.

The Red Sox, who have not lost to the Orioles since a 7-3 defeat on Sept. 2, have outscored Baltimore 62-25 this season.

Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon homered Tuesday for the Red Sox, who blew a 4-0 lead but scored two in the sixth on RBI singles by Mark Loretta and David Ortiz. Ramirez’s homer was the 442nd of his career, tying him with Dave Kingman for 33rd on the all-time list.

“We came up with some big hits when we needed and the bullpen was lights out,” Loretta said.

Ramon Hernandez, Brandon Fahey and Jay Gibbons homered for the Orioles (18-22), who swept a three-game series against Kansas City before this series. All the homers came off Boston ace Curt Schilling.

“It doesn’t matter who it was,” Fahey said. “Anytime you hit your first home run in the major leagues, it’s an exciting moment.”

The Orioles fell to 4-16 against teams above .500.

Tim Wakefield (3-4, 4.03 ERA) will look to help the Red Sox complete the sweep. The knuckleballer won his second straight start Thursday, allowing three runs and six hits and striking out nine in six innings of a 5-3 victory over the Yankees.

Wakefield is 13-11 with a 3.98 ERA in 39 career appearances, including 26 starts, against the Orioles. He has won both of his starts against Baltimore this season, posting a 2.25 ERA.

Wakefield allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings of a 9-3 victory over Eric Bedard and the Orioles on May 6. Bedard (4-2, 4.63), who will square off against him again on Wednesday, allowed six runs in just two innings and was charged with the loss.

The left-hander allowed three runs and six hits in five innings of the Orioles’ 6-5 win over Kansas City on Friday, but did not receive a decision.

Bedard is 0-2 with a 7.34 ERA in his last four starts since winning his first four of the season.

“I guess I was feeling good and I was trying to throw too hard,” Bedard said. “But it was going where I wanted it to go when I was throwing hard, so I just kept it up. If you get frustrated, that’s when you do worse. I just keep doing what I’ve been doing and eventually, I’ll get a win.”

Bedard is 1-3 with a 7.57 ERA in six career appearances, including five starts, against the Red Sox.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Wakefield Bos vs. E. Bedard TB
7-11 Record 15-11
4.63 ERA 3.76
90 K 171
51 BB 69
1.33 WHIP 1.35