Baltimore Orioles (8-8) at Boston Red Sox (8-10)
Sunday, April 20 - 7:05 PM EST
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Red Sox were searching for production from the bottom third of the order and may have found it with Brock Holt. The Red Sox will try to ride Holt’s hot streak to another victory when they host the Baltimore Orioles in the third of a four-game set on Sunday. Holt did not make the team out of spring training but was recalled on Friday after a hot start at Triple-A Pawtucket and is 3-for-7 with a pair of RBIs in two straight starts.
Boston has scored more than four runs only once in its last 10 games, and it took them 14 innings to push across more than four in a 6-4 triumph at Chicago on Wednesday. Holt’s production helps and David Ortiz began to bust out of a slump with a solo home run among two hits on Saturday. The Orioles have dropped three of five meetings with the Red Sox but Nelson Cruz is having no trouble with Boston pitching. The veteran slugger drove in two runs on Saturday and has seven RBIs in the five meetings.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Ubaldo Jimenez (0-3, 7.31 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Jake Peavy (0-0, 1.93)
Jimenez has not exactly been everything Baltimore hoped for when it signed him to a four-year, $50-million free-agent deal over the winter. The 30-year-old has a history of slow starts and allowed at least four earned runs in each of his first three turns, including four runs over six innings in a loss to Boston on April 2. Jimenez struggles against Red Sox stars Mike Napoli (4-for-7, 2 HRs), Jonny Gomes (5-for-15, 2 HRs) and Dustin Pedroia (7-for-13 with four RBIs).
Peavy has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a start but is winless due to a lack of run support. The 32-year-old allowed one run and three hits while striking out eight over six innings at Chicago on Tuesday but was held out of the decision in a game the Red Sox went on to lose 2-1. Peavy missed the first series with Baltimore and made only one start against the Orioles last season, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings.
1. Orioles 3B Manny Machado (knee) played his first game in extended spring training on Saturday and went 2-for-4 over five innings while also playing in the field.
2. Boston OF Grady Sizemore is 1-for-18 in the last five games.
3. The benches briefly cleared on Saturday after Baltimore RHP Bud Norris threw a pitch up and in on David Ross, who was squaring around to bunt.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 7, Orioles 3