Game 152: Orioles at Red Sox - Dempster duels with O's seeking to lower Magic Number

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

Only 11 games remain between the Boston Red Sox and the 2013 MLB Postseason. Six of those games will be against the Baltimore Orioles, beginning with a three-game series tonight at Fenway Park. The Orioles are still in the Wild Card hunt, but need some help down the stretch. With a win tonight, the Red Sox would officially eliminate the Orioles from East Division title contention. They would also inch closer to claiming the crown. Right now, the Red Sox Magic Number is 4 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

One team in the East that has the Sox number is Baltimore. Boston is 6-7 against Baltimore (79-70) this year, the only team in the East that the Red Sox do not own a winning record against. Over the past few years, it has been all Baltimore. The Red Sox hope to change that in these last six games of 2013.

Boston (92-59) is the only team in the Majors under 60 losses. On the mound to keep that title alive is Ryan Dempster, who is 8-9 with a 4.70 ERA and has won two of his last three outings. In the third, he received a no-decision, but only allowed one earned run on four hits in five innings against the Rays.

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

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

Dempster, P

The Sox will face Orioles’ right-hander Scott Feldman. Feldman is 5-4 with a 3.62 ERA with the Orioles since coming over via trade from the Cubs. Feldman lost his last outing against the Red Sox. He went five innings and gave up four runs on six hits with just one strikeout on July 27.

Don’t peak too early
Boston is on a tear lately, winning five of six and 17 of 21 overall. That’s great and all, but one would assume the Red Sox would like to be playing that well next month.

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

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