The Red Sox will play their second game of a three-game series against the Orioles on Tuesday night. Rookie right-hander Anthony Ranaudo will oppose Chris Tillman.
On the road against the Yankees last Wednesday, Ranaudo (3-1, 4.63 ERA) lost his first major league start, which ended his three-game winning streak with the Red Sox. It still was a quality outing, as he allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out one and walked just two batters.
Ranaudo did not win his fourth-ever big league start, but he said he felt confident in stuff at Yankee Stadium, despite pitching against the team he watched growing up as a kid.
“I felt really good, this is probably the most comfortable I’ve felt on the mound, the best I’ve felt about my stuff throughout the game and I felt probably it was the best I mixed my stuff,” Ranaudo said after the game.
Tuesday’s start will be the fifth of Ranaudo’s career and fourth against an American League East opponent. He’s faced the Yankees twice, last time out and his first major league start — a win where he allowed two runs over six innings on Aug. 1. He also beat the Rays on Aug. 29 with six innings of three-run ball.
He has never faced the Orioles, and Tuesday’s outing will be just his second ever at Fenway Park.
Compared to his minor league season with Triple-A Pawtucket where he struck out 111 hitters in 138 innings, Ranaudo has only punched out a combined eight hitters through his first four starts with the Red Sox. Pitching to contact more at the big league level, Ranaudo has seen his batting average against jump from .223 to .264 from the PawSox to the Red Sox.
Tillman (11-5, 3.40 ERA) has become an anchor in Baltimore’s ever-improving rotation over the last three seasons. Through his first two years of his career, Tillman’s ERA never fell below 5.52. Over the last three seasons, though, his high mark is 3.71. His strikeouts per nine innings is down from 7.81 a season ago to 6.31 this year, but his 1.22 WHIP is unchanged and his home run to fly ball ratio has dropped six percent.
The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out six during a no-decision against the Reds last Thursday in Baltimore. The start was Tillman’s 17th consecutive outing in which he pitched at least five innings. It was also the 15th time in a row that he recorded at least one strikeout.
Tillman has faced the Red Sox three times this season, posting a 1-1 record and a 3.38 ERA. He last faced the Red Sox in early June, allowing one run over six innings. He took the loss in that matchup, as Brandon Workman threw 6 2/3 shutout innings and outdueled him in a delay-filled game at Camden Yards. His one victory against the Red Sox came at Fenway Park all the way back on April 18. He gave up seven hits and three runs in five innings, but the Baltimore offense gave him enough support for the win.
Many of the current Red Sox have not had much success against Tillman, but Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli have the best numbers over the most plate appearances against him. Pedroia has a .286 average with 5 RBIs against him, while Napoli has an even .300 average in 20 at-bats. Will Middlebrooks has not recorded a hit against Tillman in 16 plate appearances.
Orioles vs. Ranaudo (RHP)
No Orioles have faced Ranaudo.
Red Sox vs. Tillman (RHP)
Dustin Pedroia (39 career plate appearances): .286 average/.333 OBP/.343 SLG, 5 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 2 doubles
Daniel Nava (30): .192/.300/.308, 3 doubles, 9 strikeouts, 4 walks
David Ortiz (26): .095/.269/.095, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (24): .300/.417/.400, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Will Middlebrooks (16): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (11): .000/.182/.000, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Jackie Bradley (8): .429/.500/.571, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 double
Yoenis Cespedes (6): .167/.167/.167, 3 strikeouts
Brock Holt (5): .600/.600/.600
David Ross is 0-for-2 with one strikeout in two plate appearances against Tillman.