The title defense for the Boston Red Sox is over after they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention earlier this month, leaving individual pursuits remaining the rest of the way. The only team goal left for the Red Sox is to avoid getting swept by the last-place Baltimore Orioles, who visit for the regular season finale on Sunday.
Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts can set a franchise record for shortstops with one more extra-base hit after tying Nomar Garciaparra's record of 85 in Saturday's 9-4 setback, and he is rallying his team to help left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez record his 20th win on Sunday. "We have one more game to go, we know (Rodriguez is) going for a big 20 (wins) tomorrow," Bogaerts told reporters. "I think we need to come out tomorrow with a chip on our shoulder and try to get the job done." The Orioles, who will throw Chandler Shepherd out to the mound to oppose Rodriguez and begin a bullpen day on Sunday, intend to play hard all the way to the finish line as well. "I think the whole club, we're playing hard in Game 161, 50 games out or whatever we are," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde told reporters after Saturday's triumph. "Continuing to compete. I thought we played with a ton of energy today, played to win."
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH Chandler Shepherd (0-0, 7.71 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (19-6, 3.80)
Shepherd is looking for his first major league win and was knocked around for six runs and six hits - three home runs - over three innings at Toronto on Monday. The Kentucky product started in two of his four appearances and has surrendered a total of 18 hits - five home runs - with five walks in 14 innings overall. Shepherd was drafted by Boston in 2014 and claimed off minor league waivers by Baltimore in May before going 3-5 with a 4.60 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk.
Rodriguez struggled his way to win No. 19 on Tuesday at Texas, getting knocked around for seven runs and 11 hits over five innings but receiving plenty of support from his offense. The Venezuela native, who is also 3 2/3 innings away from reaching 200 for the first time in his career, allowed one or no runs in six of his previous seven outings. Rodriguez last saw Baltimore on Aug. 17 and scattered four hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings to earn a win.
1. Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers needs two hits to reach 200 for the first time in his career.
2. Baltimore INF Jonathan VIllar reached 40 stolen bases for the second time in his career on Saturday.
3. Boston LF Andrew Benintendi (calf) sat out the first two games of the series and is questionable for Sunday.
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Boston Red Sox
- Armout for season | 60-day IL
Sale is on the 45-day injured list and has been shut down for the duration of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.
- Elbowday-to-day | questionable
McHugh is on the mend from a tenex procedure to his right elbow. It is up in the air if it will impede his status when the league opens the 2020 season.
- KneeOut indefinitely | 60-day IL
Pedroia suffered a setback in his recovery from a left knee injury and is now on the 45-day injured list for an undetermined length of time.
- Illnessout for season | 60-day IL
Mancini will likely miss the 2020 season while on the 45-day injured list after having a malignant tumor removed from his colon.
baltimore-orioles Stats 2020