Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

Is tonight the night the Boston Red Sox (92-61) clinch a postseason berth? Or is it the night the Baltimore Orioles (81-70) win the season series against the Sox, taking their 10th game in 16 tries?

Only time will tell us that answer, but the past two nights have produced outstanding baseball games. The Sox wound up on the losing end of both and dropped back-to-back games for the first time this September. They’ll look to get back on track tonight and clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win.

It will be John Lackey on the mound attempting to avoid the sweep. Lackey hasn’t necessarily been himself over the last two outings, giving up 11 runs on 15 hits. In his last start against Baltimore on Aug. 28, Lackey allowed three runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings. He picked up a no-decision, but the Red Sox won 4-3. Overall, Lackey is 9-12 with a 3.56 ERA and many think he will get the ball early in a postseason series.

Here is the lineup for the Red Sox tonight (first pitch – 7:10 pm EDT):

1. Pedroia, 2B
2. Nava, RF
3. Ortiz, DH
4. Napoli, 1B
5. Carp, LF
6. Saltalamacchia, C
7. Middlebrooks, 3B
8. Drew, SS
9. Bradley Jr., CF

Lackey, P

The Orioles will start Chris Tillman, who is 16-6 with a 3.70 ERA this year. Baltimore is 4-0 against Boston when he is on the mound this season. Tillman is 3-0 in those four games and has given up a total of four earned runs (1.42 ERA), including allowing no runs and just five combined hits in two of the starts. He has struck out 24 batters and walked nine with just 17 hits over the four games against the Red Sox in 2013.

Another streak over
A night after Koji Uehara’s scoreless innings and consecutive batters not reaching base streaks came to an end, another streak has ended, this one on a much grander scale. The Red Sox had won eight straight series – their most since 2011 – but their second straight loss to the Orioles clinched a series win for Baltimore.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

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Ben Whitehead 9/19/2013 05:00:00 PM Edit
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