David Hess (2-2 with a 3.07 ERA) is scheduled to start for the struggling Baltimore Orioles in the middle game of their three-game set with the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.The O's came into tonight's game losing 12 of their last fourteen games, including Monday's series opener (0-2).In addition to that, they were limited to two or fewer runs in nine of those 14 outings.
Hess is coming off three straight quality starts, as the 24-year-old rookie yielded 13 hits and 2 runs while walking six and striking out nine over 18 2/3 innings of a 2-0 win at Tropicana Field on May 25, in the Orioles' 0-2 home loss to the Nationals five days later and in a no-decision at Rogers Centre last Thursday (4-5).On the other hand, there are two things that should be taken into account here: at first place, Hess has received three or fewer runs of support in four of his previous five major league starts and in addition to that, the right-hander had serious problems in his previous start against the Red Sox, on May 20, when he gave up 8 hits and 5 runs - including three homers to J.D. Martinez (2) and Andrew Benintendi - over 4 2/3 innings of a 0-5 loss at Fenway Park.
Mookie Betts returned to the Red Sox lineup on Monday.The all-star outfielder is a .287 lifetime hitter against the O's, with 14 home runs.
The Boston Red Sox will give the ball to Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1 with a 3.68 ERA), who is looking for his eighth win in twelve starts.The 25-year-old Venezuelan threw 5 1/3 solid innings his last time out, allowing 5 hits and 1 run while striking out five batters of a 7-1 home win over the Tigers.Rodriguez posted a 4-1 record with a 2.14 ERA over his last six starts and is 2-0 with a 3.80 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 26 strikeouts across 23 2/3 innings in four road contests.
The left-hander went 5-5 with a 3.98 ERA in twelve career starts versus Baltimore, but at Oriole Park at Camden Yards he's a 3-2 record with a 2.75 ERA in seven outings.Rodriguez pitched well in each of his previous two starts against the Orioles this season, as he yielded 1 run on 5 hits and struck out eight in six innings of a 7-3 home win on April 13 and threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the Red Sox' 5-0 victory at Fenway Park on May 20, with seven strikeouts.Joey Rickard is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with a double against Rodriguez, Adam Jones is 10-for-30 with two doubles and a pair of home runs, Trey Mancini has 5 hits in 16 at-bats off him, with a double and a solo home run, but Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, Manny Machado, Danny Valencia and Mark Trumbo are a combined 26-for-123, with 37 strikeouts.
I think that the Boston Red Sox are capable to cover this handicap.