Boston (77-68) at Baltimore (63-82)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 89° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 14, 2006
  • TV: NESN, CSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With their managerial questions settled for next season, the Baltimore Orioles look to build off a rare win over the Boston Red Sox when the teams meet Thursday in the finale of a three-game series.

Before Wednesday’s 4-0 victory, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette said manager Sam Perlozzo would be back for a second season.

“It’s not an issue. It’s not even anything that needs to be addressed or talked about,” Duquette said.

Perlozzo got a three-year contract during the offseason after serving as interim manager following the firing of Lee Mazzilli in August 2005. Perlozzo led Baltimore to an 11-7 record on April 21, but never reached the .500 mark after falling to 14-15 on May 3.

The fourth-place Orioles (63-82) have not had a winning season since Davey Johnson led them to a 98-64 record and a first-place finish in the AL East. They’ve finished fourth seven times and third once since then.

Perlozzo said the organization would be foolish to fire him.

“I think it would be a big mistake. I came here to get this thing straight and I intend to stay here and get it done,” he said. “I’m pretty confident in the job I’ve done this year, quite honestly”

Baltimore’s win Wednesday was just its second in 14 games this season over Boston—both by Erik Bedard. He tossed a two-hitter for his team-high 14th win, and each Orioles batter registered at least one hit.

“We had Erik Bedard win both games, so maybe he can pitch the rest of the year for us against the Red Sox,” said the Orioles’ Kevin Millar, who homered. “Seems like he’s the only one that has their number right now.”

Adam Loewen (5-5, 5.32 ERA), perhaps looking to secure a spot on Perlozzo’s staff next season, will try to avoid losing consecutive starts. The rookie left-hander gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings of a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Saturday.

“Today was just a case of getting outpitched. We played a very good game defensively, and we swung the bats well. But we went up against a Cy Young candidate today,” said Loewen, referring to New York’s Chien-Ming Wang.

Loewen’s shortest outing as a starter came on Aug. 11 against the Red Sox. In a 9-2 loss, he surrendered six runs and six hits in 2 2-3 innings.

Boston, which was shut out for only the sixth time this year, managed singles by Wily Mo Pena and Gabe Kapler. Manny Ramirez missed his third straight game with a sore knee and has appeared in only six games since Aug. 24.

Lenny DiNardo (1-2, 7.42) will make his first start since being activated from the 60-day DL on Aug. 31.

But the left-hander, out since mid-May with a neck strain, hasn’t pitched well since rejoining Boston (77-68). In five innings, he’s given up five runs, seven hits—including two homers—and walked five.

His only win this season, though, came on May 7 in a 10-3 victory against Baltimore. DiNardo lasted the minimum five innings, giving up two runs and two hits with five walks and five striekouts.

“I didn’t think about it until after the game,” DiNardo said after the win. “I was just sitting on the couch looking through game notes, and I thought, ‘Very cool.’ Each start, I feel like I get something from it. This one in particular was a confidence builder.”

He’s never faced the Orioles in Baltimore.

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Starting Pitchers

L. DiNardo Oak vs. A. Loewen Phi
1-2 Record 6-6
7.85 ERA 5.37
17 K 98
20 BB 62
2.08 WHIP 1.54

Scoreboard

Thursday, Sep 14