Boston (69-46) at Baltimore (53-61)

  • Game info: 3:55 pm EDT Sat Aug 11, 2007
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

One-run wins have been rare this season for the Baltimore Orioles. Wins of any kind against the Boston Red Sox have been just as hard to come by.

The Orioles look to record consecutive victories against the Red Sox for the first time in nearly two years Saturday when the teams continue a three-game series at Camden Yards.

Friday’s series opener started out as a pitcher’s duel between Daisuke Matsuzaka and Erik Bedard, who carried a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning.

Boston, though, knocked out Bedard and scored five runs in the top of the inning for a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead. The Orioles, however, answered with four runs in the bottom half off Eric Gagne to forge a 5-5 tie.

“I wish I could lie and say we were positive and upbeat, but I don’t think we were,” Baltimore’s Brian Roberts said. “Everybody was down and probably a little frustrated.”

Gagne has pitched in four games since joining the Red Sox, giving up six runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings.

“I’m not doing my job right now. The last four games have been horrible,” he said. “I’ve got to step it up and do my job and get people out. There’s no excuse. It’s the same, the adrenalin has been there, everything has been there. I’m just not making my pitches.”

Roberts led off the bottom of the ninth against Hideki Okajima with a ground-rule double and scored the winning run on Nick Markakis’ sacrifice fly one out later.

Baltimore (53-61), which snapped a three-game losing streak overall, improved to 10-21 in one-run games this season.

The victory was only the Orioles’ sixth in the last 32 meetings overall against the Red Sox, and their third in 15 home games versus their division rivals.

Boston (69-46) dropped to 3-4 on a nine-game road trip, as its lead over the red-hot New York Yankees in the AL East was cut to five games.

There was good news for the Red Sox despite the loss, as David Ortiz returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels because of a sore shoulder.

Matsuzaka allowed one run in seven innings, ending a stretch of three straight less than impressive outings by Boston starters, who had a 5.29 ERA in the first six games of the road trip.

Josh Beckett (14-5, 3.31) seeks his major league-leading 15th victory for the Red Sox. The right-hander rebounded from losses in back-to-back starts with a strong performance Sunday in a 9-2 victory at Seattle, allowing one run and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out nine to improve to 7-1 with a 1.59 ERA in eight road starts.

“He’s turned into one of the best pitchers in baseball as far as power pitchers,” Kevin Millar told the Orioles’ official Web site. “He probably has the best curveball in baseball. You don’t see a power arm with a power curveball like that, usually—and with a great changeup.”

Beckett is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three starts against the Orioles this season, limiting them to two runs over eight innings in a 5-2 victory at Camden Yards on April 26.

Rookie Garrett Olson (1-0, 3.86) is expected to become a regular member of the Orioles’ rotation the rest of the season. The 23-year-old left-hander was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday and will remain in the rotation as a replacement for Brian Burres, who will pitch out of the bullpen.

Olson pitched two games for the Orioles last month. He struggled in his major league debut in Chicago against the White Sox on July 4, but rebounded to beat Chicago in Baltimore on July 15.

Olson, who has never faced Boston, was 9-7 with a 3.16 ERA in 22 starts for Norfolk.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Beckett LAD vs. G. Olson OAK
20-7 Record 1-3
3.27 ERA 7.79
194 K 28
40 BB 28
1.14 WHIP 2.16


Saturday, Aug 11