Boston (85-56) at Baltimore (60-79)

Sunny Currently: Baltimore, MD, US
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 7, 2007
  • TV: NESN, MASN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Baltimore Orioles hit a new low in Thursday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox. Lately, that seems to have become a daily occurrence.

The reeling Orioles look to avoid their franchise-record 11th straight home loss Friday night when they continue a four-game set against the AL East-leading Red Sox.

Pinch-hitter Jason Varitek singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox got home runs from David Ortiz and Coco Crisp in Thursday’s 7-6 victory.

It was the 14th loss in 16 games overall for the Orioles (60-79), who dropped their 10th in a row at Camden Yards, matching the franchise record set Aug. 8-Sept. 6, 1954 in the team’s inaugural season in Baltimore. The Orioles also lost 10 consecutive home games the following season.

Baltimore hasn’t won at home since a 6-2 victory over Texas on Aug. 21. The next night it was swept in a doubleheader by the Rangers, including a record-setting 30-3 loss in the opener.

After Boston rookie Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter against the Orioles last Friday in his second major league start, the right-hander earned the victory Thursday with three scoreless innings.

“They hit a lot of good balls but I had some big plays behind me,” Buchholz said. “I mixed up my pitches well and made the pitches I needed to get out of situations.”

The Orioles loaded the bases with no out in the sixth against Buchholz, but Miguel Tejada hit into a 5-2-3 double play and Kevin Millar struck out.

“The opportunity we had, the bases loaded and nobody out and didn’t score, that would have been to our benefit if we could have broke the game open there,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “We certainly had the opportunity to do that and it didn’t happen.”

Jonathan Papelbon continued his dominance of the Orioles with a perfect ninth for his 34th save. He has worked 14 1-3 scoreless innings in 15 career appearances against them.

Crisp had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored for Boston (85-56), which has won 14 of its last 18 games at Baltimore.

The Red Sox extended their lead in the East to 6 1/2 games over the idle New York Yankees. They have been in first place for 142 straight games, their longest streak since 1986.

With ace Erik Bedard injured and likely out for the season, Baltimore’s rotation consists of Daniel Cabrera, who has a career-high 14 losses, rookies Garrett Olson, Radhames Liz and Jeremy Guthrie and Jon Leicester, who will make his first major league start in more than two years Saturday.

Olson left Thursday’s game after 3 2-3 innings with tightness in his left forearm.

Jon Lester (3-0, 5.26 ERA) looks to beat the Orioles for the second consecutive start. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits in six-plus innings Sunday in a 3-2 victory. He walked four and struck out one in his first appearance since Aug. 21 after spending the previous two weeks in the minors.

Lester, who is 2-0 with a 6.84 ERA in five road starts this season, will be making his first career appearance at Camden Yards. He is 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two home starts against the Orioles.

Cabrera (9-14, 5.06) will be matched up against Lester for the second consecutive start in his third appearance this season against the Red Sox. He gave up three runs and five hits in six innings in Sunday’s loss at Fenway Park, walking four and striking out seven. The right-hander has lost three of his last four decisions overall, and the Orioles have dropped seven of his last nine home starts.

Cabrera is 1-8 with a 7.88 ERA in 10 career starts against the Red Sox, including 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA in two outings this season.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Lester CHC vs. D. Cabrera CIN
4-0 Record 9-18
4.57 ERA 5.55
50 K 166
31 BB 108
1.46 WHIP 1.54

Scoreboard

Friday, Sep 7