No, the Baltimore Orioles won’t make the 2013 Postseason. That’s a good thing for the Boston Red Sox, who officially lost the season series to the O’s with Saturday’s 6-5 loss at Camden Yards.
That’s OK. The Red Sox (97-64) have much bigger aspirations and went into Saturday having already clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. One thing is for sure, today’s game is the final of what has been an incredible ride through the 2013 season.
Allen Webster is starting in place of John Lackey, allowing Lackey a little extra rest before the postseason. Webster still has much growing to do, but there have been flashes of brilliance for the young pitcher. He is just 1-2 with a 9.55 ERA.
Here is the final regular season lineup for the Red Sox today (first pitch – 1:35 pm EDT):
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Bogaerts, SS
3. Ortiz, DH
4. Napoli, 1B
5. Carp, LF
6. Middlebrooks, 3B
7. Saltalamacchia, C
8. McDonald, 2B
9. Berry, RF
Chris Tillman is on the mound for the Orioles (84-77). Tillman is 16-7 with a 3.62 ERA and lost to Boston two starts ago. He gave up three earned runs in seven innings in that start.
Daniel Nava went 4-for-4 Saturday to raise his average above .300. Nava is batting .303 this season in a platoon role, but has been vital when he has been in the lineup. Nava, along with Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp have adopted the role with dignity and have proven to the naysayers that this sort of situation can work.
Wild Card update
With the Red Sox the AL’s best, they will be hosting the Wild Card winner in the ALDS beginning Friday at Fenway Park. That race is still up for grabs with the Cleveland Indians guaranteed to be in the mix in some fashion. Cleveland is a game up on Tampa Bay and Texas. Regardless if there is a tie, the Indians will be a part of the tie-breaker game – or games – this week. An Indians win and they will host either the Rays or Rangers in the Wild Card play-in game Wednesday. Today will either sort everything out or cloud it up some more. Should be a wild day for the Wild Card.
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