Garrett Richards hopes to stay on a roll when the Boston Red Sox visit the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night in the second of a four-game series.
The veteran right-hander has turned around a rough start to his Red Sox career in back-to-back strong road outings against the New York Mets and Texas Rangers.
Richards (1-2, 4.40 ERA) allowed one run and struck out seven over five innings last Sunday in Texas. Against the Mets on April 27, Richards struck out a season-high 10 over seven innings of one-run ball.
After allowing 14 runs (13 earned) with 12 strikeouts in his first 16 2/3 innings, Richards has allowed just two over his past 12 innings while striking out 17.
“A nice little building block outing,” Richards said after his start against the Rangers. “The last one was good, this one was decent. We’re moving in the right direction. There’s still work to be done, but I’m starting to feel some familiar stuff of, you know, when I’m going good.”
Baltimore already is familiar with Richards after facing him in his first two starts of the year.
The Orioles rocked Richards in his season debut on April 4 to the tune of a season-high six runs on seven hits in just two innings. On April 10, Richards allowed two runs on three hits and struck out four in five innings against them.
Richards has never beaten Baltimore, going 0-5 with a 6.38 ERA — his third-highest against any opponent — in 10 games (six starts).
Baltimore’s Trey Mancini is 2 for 5 with a solo home run against Richards. Cedric Mullins is 3 for 5 and Maikel Franco is 1 for 1 with two RBIs and three walks against the right-hander.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde will send rookie left-hander Zac Lowther to the mound to make his first major-league start.
Lowther likely will appear in an opener role as he has pitched only once this season, allowing just one hit with a strikeout in a scoreless inning on April 25 against Oakland.
Last-place Baltimore had won five of seven, including John Means’ masterpiece on Wednesday in Seattle when he threw the team’s first no-hitter in 52 years. A pregame ceremony at Oriole Park at Camden Yards celebrating Means’ no-hitter scheduled for Friday was rescheduled to Saturday due to a rain delay.
After Friday’s defeat, the Orioles have now lost three of five and dropped to 3-4 against Boston this season.
“We had a lot of base runners — we just didn’t get the big hit,” Hyde said postgame Friday after his team had 11 hits but scored just twice. “A lot of guys had a lot of hits. We just didn’t drive in a ton of runs tonight. That’s baseball, that happens. Just one of those nights offensively where we couldn’t deliver the big blow.”
The first-place Red Sox have won three of four and seven of their past 11 games.
–Field Level Media