When the Boston Red Sox visits the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon, it will be the final game of a four-game series and the penultimate homestand of the season for the Red Sox. Nathan Eovaldi will be making his second start of the season.
Due to right shoulder irritation, Boston (74-81) has been without Eovaldi (5-3, 4.15 ERA) since August 12. On Friday, he made three innings of relief for Triple-A Worcester in a rehab start.
Eovaldi recently said, “I haven’t completely been myself out there” due to two separate injuries this season. Good feelings and those emotions are returning to me. “The season is winding down and we haven’t accomplished what we set out to do back in spring training.
Both of Eovaldi’s injury absences this year have been of at least 30 games in duration. For the duration of June and July, he missed 33 games due to inflammation in his low back. Last year, Eovaldi led the American League in wins with 11, and he will likely pitch in Boston’s last series against the Tampa Bay Rays next week.
Nate Eovaldi will pitch Thursday and Eric Hosmer will likely play again this season. But what about Trevor Story? All your injury updates here.https://t.co/kQ0k61Cfd0
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) September 28, 2022
He put in a lot of effort to get where he is now. We’re not going to stop it now,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. He’s a free agent and wants to prove his health to potential employers, but “people might believe it’s for other reasons or anything,” his agent said. “At the same time, I think it’s more about who he is as a professional and the value of 162 games.”
Rich Hill pitched six scoreless innings and struck out nine of Boston’s 12 batters in a 3-1 win on Wednesday, making his team’s pitching the deciding factor for their second consecutive victory.
With home runs from Abraham Almonte and Alex Verdugo, Boston has won two in a row after suffering a season-long six-game losing streak. Verdugo went 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Wednesday, extending his hitting streak to eight games.
After pitching seven scoreless innings with three hits and eight strikeouts against the Orioles on April 30, Eovaldi threw a complete game against Baltimore in his home debut on May 28. In 17 career starts against the Baltimore Orioles, he is 8-2 with a 3.29 earned run average.
In the first two games of the series, the Orioles (80-75) scored 23 runs and hit nine home missiles, but on Wednesday, they could only muster a solo shot by Robinson Chirinos.
Despite making a push for the postseason in the American League, the Baltimore offense has been limited to one run or less on 31 occasions.
Chirinos admitted that the recent setbacks were particularly trying. “If you look back to… where we started the season, I think everybody should be proud of what we accomplished this year,” stated Chirinos. The most anyone can say is that “we’re still in the game.”
Anthony Santander, who just hit a home run from both sides of the plate for the fourth time this season, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in a game and will be looking to get back on track.
As Santander put it, “you’re going to fail a lot” in this game. “So it’s just a matter of keeping at it, coming in every day, and making the right adjustments, being psychologically locked in,” he said.
With Tyler Wells out since last Friday (right shoulder irritation), Mike Baumann (1-3, 4.32) will take the mound for Baltimore on Thursday. On Saturday, in just his second career start, he gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits (two extra-base hits) over four innings and received a no-decision against Houston.
Baumann allowed five runs and six hits, including a three-run home run by Xander Bogaerts, in just two innings of relief in his third career Major League Baseball appearance, which occurred on September 18, 2021, at Fenway Park.
Keegan Akin saved the O’s bullpen on Wednesday by pitching three scoreless innings in relief of Dean Kremer (8-6). “That really matters. The manager, Brandon Hyde, emphasized the significance of Akin’s performance because of the current state of the bullpen.