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. The Boston Red Sox juggled their roster on Tuesday in an effort to get more offense, leaving rookie Will Middlebrooks at third base while activating Kevin Youkilis from the disabled list to play first and shifting Adrian Gonzalez to right field. The new configuration resulted in a total of two hits as the Baltimore Orioles continued to prove that their pitching is no fluke. The Orioles will be looking for their second series win over the Red Sox in Wednesday’s rubber game.
Baltimore swept Boston at Fenway Park earlier this month and is still trying to prove it belongs among the American League East elite. So far, the recipe for contention has been strong pitching and home runs. The Orioles hit a pair of two-run homers in Tuesday’s 4-1 MLB Picks
win while the pitching staff struck out 12. Closer Jim Johnson leads the major leagues with 16 saves and Adam Jones has hit in 14 straight MLB Picks
games. The Red Sox can’t seem to get over the hump, losing all three of their chances to move above .500.
: 12:35 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), MASN (Baltimore)
: Red Sox RH Daniel Bard (3-5, 4.85 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Jake Arrieta (2-4, 4.72 ERA)
Bard has lost three of his last four turns while allowing at least four earned runs in each of the setbacks. The former setup man has issued 13 walks while striking out just six in 18 innings over his last three turns. He has never faced Baltimore as a starter but went 0-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 20 relief appearances against the division rivals.
Arrieta bounced back from two terrible performances with a seven-inning, one-run effort in a no decision at Washington last weekend. The 26-year old struck out nine in that one and has 51 punchouts in 55 1/3 total innings. Arrieta has struggled against Boston, going 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts. Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz are a combined 7-for-12 against Arrieta.
1. Youkilis and Gonzalez accounted for Boston’s only two hits Tuesday - a solo homer by Youkilis and a single from Gonzalez.
2. Orioles 2B Brian Roberts (post-concussion symptoms) will begin a minor-league rehab stint on Wednesday at Double-A Bowie.
3. Baltimore CF Adam Jones has hit safely in 14 straight NBA Picks
games. 2012 MLB Odds