Boston (12-7) at Baltimore (11-9)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 49° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 25, 2007
  • TV: NESN, MASN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Baltimore Orioles have surprised a lot of people with their rise to second place in the AL East. To stay near the top, the Orioles could use some success against the first-place Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles hope to finally solve the Red Sox when the division rivals open a three-game series at Camden Yards on Wednesday.

Baltimore (11-9), which trails Boston (12-7) by 1 1/2 games in the AL East, had won eight of nine before dropping consecutive games to Oakland.

Two defensive mental errors cost the Orioles in their 4-2 loss on Tuesday. Melvin Mora fumbled a grounder in the first, then failed to cover the base, and Oakland scored twice in the inning. In the sixth, Brian Roberts threw to the wrong base and the error led to another run.

“There’s no guarantee that we would have won, but those are mistakes we can’t have,” Orioles left fielder Jay Payton said. “Those are the kind of mistakes that teams that finish under .500 make.”

Getting back on track could be a challenge for an Orioles team that went just 3-15 against Boston last season, including seven losses in nine home meetings. Baltimore pitchers combined for a 6.99 ERA against the Red Sox.

Daniel Cabrera (1-1, 4.10 ERA) hopes to put last season’s series behind him when he takes the mound on Wednesday. Cabrera has lost his last four starts against the Red Sox, including three in 2006. He is 1-6 with a 9.27 ERA in eight career starts versus Boston.

The Orioles, though, have won each of Cabrera’s last three outings. The right-hander didn’t earn a decision Friday after allowing four runs in 6 2-3 innings, but Baltimore defeated Toronto 5-4.

Like Baltimore, the Red Sox have lost consecutive games after winning eight of nine. They were swept by Toronto in a two-game series at Fenway Park that finished with Tuesday’s 10-3 defeat.

Red Sox starters Tim Wakefield and Julian Tavarez posted a combined ERA of 7.59 against Toronto, and Boston fielders committed six errors in the series, including a season-high four on Tuesday.

“This is a long season, and nobody likes to ever lose,” manager Terry Francona told the team’s official Web site. “But it’s inevitable that you lose games. When you do lose, you need to bounce back and play better the next night. That’s the whole idea.”

Staff ace Curt Schilling (2-1, 3.81) gets the start as the Red Sox look to rebound. Schilling left his last start after seven innings with the Red Sox trailing 5-2. Boston, though, rallied for five runs in the eighth to pull out a 7-6 win over the New York Yankees on Friday, preventing the 40-year-old right-hander from suffering the loss.

“I always feel like every year when you’re on a team, you have to come back and win one to kind of start doing it,” Schilling told the team’s official Web site. “Friday was really the first time we did it.”

Schilling began his major league career with the Orioles in 1988, after the Red Sox traded him and outfielder Brady Anderson in exchange for pitcher Mike Boddicker. He went 3-0 with a 4.12 ERA against his original major league club in 2006, and is 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 10 starts lifetime versus Baltimore.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Schilling Bos vs. D. Cabrera LAA
9-8 Record 9-18
3.87 ERA 5.55
101 K 166
23 BB 108
1.25 WHIP 1.54

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Apr 25