|Red Sox look to complete sweep in Baltimore|
The Boston Red Sox have torched Orioles' pitchers for 20 runs in the first two games of this weekend's series in Baltimore. They'll try to do more of the same and finish off a sweep of the series Sunday at Camden Yards.
Boston rolled to a 13-2 victory in Game 1 Friday night and scored a 7-2 win on Saturday. J.D. Martinez has banged out three homers in the series already, and the Red Sox stretched their winning streak to four games.
A win would put the Red Sox five games over .500 for the first time this season, after getting to four games better than break even for the third time on Saturday. Manager Alex Cora told the media after the game that he was certainly happy with how his team is playing -- but wants it to keep going.
"I mean, we're still getting better," Cora said. "We have our own goals (for) what we're planning on achieving. We've got to (do our) short-term goals first."
To get their most immediate short-term goal, the Red Sox will turn to left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 12.71 ERA). Out since April 6 with elbow inflammation, Johnson has three career appearances against Baltimore, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles.
He will face fellow lefty John Means (6-4, 2.60) -- the Orioles' biggest surprise and best starter this season, despite sometimes running his pitch count up early in games. But teams simply can't hit his change-up. He is 1-1 with 4.11 ERA in three appearances versus Boston in his career.
Boston has come up with hits at the right time throughout the first two games of the series. The Red Sox have had big innings that pushed the Orioles into holes too deep to escape.
Also on Saturday, the Red Sox said that they signed top draft pick Cameron Cannon (second-round selection). MLB Pipeline said the deal is for $1.3 million.
Cora also told MLB.com that relief pitcher Ryan Brasier could come back to the team Monday. He's been on the bereavement list since Tuesday.
Also, first baseman Steve Pearce went 1-for-3 with an RBI double in his initial rehab game with Class-A Short-Season Lowell on Friday. Pearce has a lower back strain, and Cora told MLB.com that they want him to play five or six innings in the field.
The Orioles are hoping to improve their play from the first two games of the series when they've made mistakes in a number of ways.
Those physical and mental errors have not delighted manager Brandon Hyde since he said his team basically can't overcome mix-ups so easily.
"We're not talented enough offensively, and we don't have enough shutdown guys on the mound to be able to win," he told the media Saturday. "So we have to play almost perfect, and we just didn't play well."
The Orioles made two errors and gave the Red Sox two unearned runs in Saturday's game. A fielding error by Hanser Alberto at third gave Boston one of the runs, and catcher Pedro Severino's throwing error provided the other.
Baltimore has lost four straight and eight of 10. The Orioles are the only team in baseball yet to win 10 home games, sitting at 9-27 at Camden.
--Field Level Media