Game 72 Preview: Orioles at Red Sox

The Red Sox are coming off an impressive series win against the reigning AL Champion Royals in KC and start a very crucial home-stand against the O's tonight. The offense appears to have finally taken the next steps to turning the corner and show just how potent they can be. They scored 24 runs in the three game series against the Royals and although a lot of those runs were against a depleted staff, the feeling is that they have found their groove almost half way through the season. Leading the way has been Mookie Betts, who was named AL Player of the Week after hitting .581, with 7 RBIs and 8 runs and Brock Holt has hit .381 with 3 doubles and 2 triples over his past 5 games. These two have added a spark at the top of the lineup that the team has desperately needed all season.

So to begin the quest to get back into the AL East race, the Sox will have Joe Kelly (2-4 5.32) on the mound against the O's and Ubaldo Jimenez (5-3 3.27). Jimenez has won his last two starts and is starting to get back to his old self of dominating hitters while Joe Kelly is still trying to find his way this season, he's won only once over his previous 12 starts. The lineup tonight shows Mike Napoli dropping down to 8th, which would be the first time he's appeared there since coming to the Sox.

Here is tonight's Red Sox lineup:

Betts (CF)
Holt (RF)
Pedroia (2B)
Ortiz (DH)
Ramirez (LF)
Bogaerts (SS)
Sandoval (3B)
Napoli (1B)
Leon (C)

Quick Hits:

- This month, Koji Uehara has giving up 8 runs in 7 innings, raising his ERA to 3.52
- As mentioned up top, Mike Napoli hasn't been doing his job all season and recently in his past 10 games only has 5 hits in his previous 38 plate appearances
- Adam Jones is 15/39 against the Sox this year, with 9 RBIs
- Manny Machado is hitting .378 this month with 16 RBIs and has already tied his season high in homers with 14

Have a question for Mike during the game or whenever a baseball discussion is going on, reach out via Twitter: @86flynn