(LINEUP UPDATE) Game 135: Orioles at Red Sox - Sox sweep would be loud statement

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

This team.

I honestly don’t know what else to say. They find new ways to amaze us Red Sox Nation members on a daily basis. And I love it!

That said, tonight is a chance for the Boston Red Sox (79-55) to sweep the Baltimore Orioles (70-61), which hasn’t been an easy task over the last two seasons. In doing so, the Sox would become the second team in MLB to reach 80 wins and the first in the American League (Atlanta Braves, 80-52). That duty falls on the left shoulder of Jon Lester, who has a career 15-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in 23 starts against the O’s. Lester is 12-7 with a 3.97 ERA and has given up just four earned runs in his last four starts combined. He is 4-1 in seven starts since the All-Star Break, pitching like the ace most think he should be.

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

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Nava, 1B
6. Gomes, LF
7. Saltalamacchia, C
8. Drew, SS
9. Middlebrooks, 3B

Lester, P

The Sox will face Chris Tillman, who is 14-4 with a 3.66 ERA this year. Tillman is seeking his 15th win for the fifth straight game (0-1 with three no-decisions in his last four starts). On July 26, he pitched 7.0 innings and allowed just two hits and no runs with eight strikeouts against the Red Sox.

Lasershow stays hot
Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-run game-tying single in the seventh inning. He is batting .429 (15-for-35) with seven extra-base hits and six RBI during that span. He has raised his average from .292 to .303, as well.

Big Papi gone cold
On the opposite end of the spectrum is David Ortiz, who is hitless in his last five games (0-for-18) and has seen his average dip from .327 to .313.

Uehara sets career mark
With his 14th save Wednesday night, Koji Uehara set a career high, surpassing the 13 saves he had with Baltimore in 2010. Uehara has now pitched 25 straight innings without giving up an earned run, a streak that dates back to July 2. Also in that span, he has given up just eight hits and struck out 31 batters. He has 80 strikeouts in 59.0 innings this season.

This and that about the Sox
The win Wednesday gave Boston its 27th series win this season, the most in MLB…It was also the 20th win for the Sox in their final at-bat, another category in which they lead the league...Boston is 3-2 against the Orioles this season at Fenway Park and evened the season series at 6-6.

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

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