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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, August 29th (All times Eastern)

Baltimore Orioles (70-60) at Boston Red Sox (78-55), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Chris Tillman (14-4, 3.66) Boston - Jon Lester (12-7, 3.97)

(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox try to put even more distance between themselves and the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday when the American League East foes close out a three-game set from Fenway Park.

Boston has won the first two games of this series and is now 7 1/2 games in front of the Orioles in the division.

Completing the sweep may not be that hard, as Red Sox starter Jon Lester owns a lifetime mark of 15-2 against the Orioles with a 2.72 ERA in 23 starts. The 15 wins are his most against any team.

Lester has been terrific over his last two starts, giving up just one run in 15 2/3 innings. He won his second straight start on Saturday in Los Angeles, as he held the red-hot Dodgers to just a run in 7 1/3 frames to run his record to 12-7, while lowering his ERA to 3.97.

"He's just getting more comfortable," Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "I think he was messing with mechanics a little bit and going back and forth with different stuff, as we all do. The biggest thing for him is getting ahead, first-pitch strikes and focusing on attacking the strike zone."

On Wednesday, pinch-hitter Mike Carp's RBI single in the eighth inning lifted Boston to a 4-3 win. Shane Victorino added an RBI single for the Red Sox, who have won four in a row and lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 2 1/2 games for first place in the AL East.

Boston starter John Lackey allowed three runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. Craig Breslow (4-2) recorded the final two outs in the eighth to pick up the win.

Chris Davis hit his MLB-leading 47th homer of the season and knocked in two runs for the Orioles, who are now 4 1/2 games back in the wild card chase.

Bud Norris got the start for Baltimore and gave up one run on four hits while striking out seven and walking four over 5 1/3 innings. Tommy Hunter (3-3) allowed one run on two hits in the eighth to take the loss.

"I battled hard and that's a good ball club over there, you have to tip your hats to them," said Norris. "We just didn't get the bounces we needed today."

Getting the call for the Orioles on Thursday will be righty Chris Tillman, who will take his fifth shot at nailing down win No. 15. Tillman, though, has pitched well in his last four starts with a 2.57 ERA, but the O's have backed him with just nine runs in those outings.

That was the case on Saturday against Oakland, as Tillman surrendered just a run in eight innings, but did not factor in the decision of the O's 2-1 loss. He is 14-4 on the year with a 3.66 ERA.

Tillman has faced the Red Sox eight times and is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA.

Boston has split its 12 meetings with the Red Sox this season.

08/29 10:22:50 ET

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  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR