Ugliness lingers over Orioles-Red Sox series
BOSTON -- At the midpoint of the four-game set between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles, the series at Fenway Park already qualifies as the most dramatic of the season -- for all the wrong reasons.
The teams split the first two games of the series, which included in Baltimore's 5-2 win on Monday:
--The Orioles hitting Boston's Mookie Betts with a pitch in apparent retaliation for Manny Machado getting thrown at in Baltimore last month after he spiked Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
--Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones getting berated with racial taunts and having a bag of peanuts thrown at him.
Then in Boston's 5-2 victory on Tuesday:
--Red Sox fans giving Jones a big ovation first time up Tuesday.
--Machado having a Chris Sale pitch buzz past the back of his legs.
--The Orioles turning a weird triple play.
--Machado letting loose verbally on Sale and the Red Sox for throwing at him, unleashing a lengthy string of obscenities.
"I've lost my respect for that organization, for that (bleeping) staff, for everyone over there," Machado said, in part.
Sale's response? "Whatever, man. I'm not losing sleep tonight."
Stepping into the cauldron of unrest between the teams will be the Wednesday starting pitchers, Baltimore's Kevin Gausman and Boston's Drew Pomeranz.
Gausman, the Orioles' Opening Day starter, finished April with just one win and with three consecutive poor performances, including one against Boston, to end his month.
With ace Chris Tillman rehabbing a sore shoulder, Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was counting on Gausman and Dylan Bundy to be the leaders of the staff. Bundy, who has six consecutive quality starts to open the season, has come through. Gausman? Not so much. He takes a 1-2 record and 7.50 ERA into play Wednesday.
After losing to the Red Sox, Gausman was staked to a 9-1 lead in New York against the Yankees -- a game the Orioles wound up losing 14-11 in 10 innings.
"I kind of let them get off the hook, let them back in the ballgame," Gausman said after that one. "Darren (O'Day) and Brad (Brach) shouldn't even be getting in the game, especially when we're up 9-1."
Talking about his April results, he said, "Not very good. Pretty frustrating, especially being the guy who they gave the ball to Opening Day."
In his past three starts, Gausman has yielded 18 earned runs and six home runs in just 14 innings.
Still, despite Gausman, who is just 1-4 against the Red Sox since the start of last season, having one win on the season, the Orioles are 16-9 after Tuesday night's loss.
Gausman is 3-5 with a 4.69 ERA in 15 career games (10 starts) against Boston.
Pomeranz, whose April debut was delayed because of left forearm problems, allowed two runs in each of his last two outings last month -- one of them against Baltimore.
In fact, two of Pomeranz's four starts this season have been against the Orioles and he went 1-1 in those games, allowing just three earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. Overall, he is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA.
Pomeranz, who lost twice to the Orioles after coming to the Red Sox last season, has allowed two runs or less in three of his four starts and has struck out 27 in 21 2/3 innings.
In six career outings (three starts) vs. Baltimore, Pomeranz is 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA.
He beat Baltimore with six innings of four-hit ball April 11 but was a hard-luck loser after pitching 5 1/3 and yielding two runs on five hits April 21 at Camden Yards, a 2-0 Orioles win.
"Drew had quality stuff," manager John Farrell said after that game. "Made a number of pitches. ... We created some opportunities but still left empty."
Mookie Betts has worn Gausman out, to the tune of 10-for-23 with three homers and seven RBIs. Dustin Pedroia is 6-for-20, but Jackie Bradley Jr. is just 2-for-15, Mitch Moreland 3-for-15 and Hanley Ramirez 3-for-13.
The current Orioles are hitting a combined .239 against Pomeranz, with Welington Castillo leading the way at 3-for-8 with a home run. However, Castillo went on the disabled list Tuesday due to right shoulder tendinitis. Jonathan Schoop is 0-for-6 vs. Pomeranz, and J.J. Hardy is 1-for-6.
Updated May 3, 2017