With Thursday’s home opener loss behind them and with a 1-3 record since a 3-0 start, the Orioles host the Boston Red Sox tonight. The Sox won 7-3 Thursday in the series opener, ending a four-game losing streak to the Orioles.
Through Friday’s games, the Orioles and Boston were tied for first in the American League East at 4-3, with New York and Tampa Bay one game back at 3-4 and Toronto 1 1/2 games out at 3-5.
This afternoon those standings changed when Tampa Bay blanked the Yankees on a six-pitcher five-hitter by a 4-0 score. The Rays are now 4-4 and the Yankees 3-5. Tampa Bay went 8-2 versus New York in the regular season last year and then beat the Yankees in the AL Division Series. They have won the first two games of their current series.
As for the Orioles, Baltimorean Bruce Zimmermann (1-0, 4.50 ERA) will make his second start tonight. It’s a rematch from the third game of the season, when he faced right-hander Garrett Richards (0-1, 27.00), who is also starting tonight. Baltimore won that game at Fenway Park, 11-3.
Zimmermann went six innings, allowing four hits and three runs with one walk and five strikeouts. The left-hander threw 73 pitches, 54 for strikes and fired first-pitch strikes to 19 of 23 batters. He used his four-seam fastball 35 times that day and it averaged 91.7 mph, per Statcast, topping at 93.7.