Red Sox-Orioles Preview - NBC Sports

Red Sox-Orioles Preview
June 14, 2013, 2:06 am

Chris Davis is the Baltimore Orioles' most dangerous hitter, and that's been especially true at Camden Yards.

The Boston Red Sox are well aware of what he's capable of at the plate.

After coming through in the clutch in the opener of this four-game series, Davis looks to continue his torrid hitting versus the Red Sox on Friday night.

Davis leads the majors with 21 homers, and is second in the AL with 56 RBIs while hitting a team-high .338 - an increase of 68 points from last year. The first baseman has been particularly productive over the past 10 home games, hitting .474 with five homers, 11 RBIs and nine runs.

He came up big Thursday, connecting for a walkoff single to clinch a 5-4, 13-inning victory over Boston, as Baltimore (38-29) won for the ninth time in 11 games as host.

"I took a few swings late in the game where I was just swinging way too hard, trying to win it with one swing instead of just trying to put the ball in play," Davis said. "Good things happen when you simplify it."

The second-place Orioles are 2 1/2 games back of the AL East-leading Red Sox (41-27), and they're also the only division foe to own a winning record against them at 3-1.

Baltimore has won six of the last seven versus Boston, partly due to Davis.

He's batting .433 with five homers and nine RBIs and has a .564 on-base percentage over his last nine meetings with the Sox. That includes going 7 for 16 while hitting three homers with seven RBIs in the past four at Camden Yards.

The Orioles are expected to turn to Chris Tillman (6-2, 3.89 ERA), who has been backed by an average of 9.9 runs over his last four starts. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 4.76 ERA over that stretch, and has a 2.08 ERA in winning his two outings this month.

Tillman has a sterling 1.40 ERA over his last three starts against the Red Sox, but just a 1-0 record to show for it since he's received three total runs in the other two outings. His lone win in that stretch came at home Sept. 28, when he allowed an unearned run and one hit in eight innings of a 9-1 victory.

Boston will try to solve Tillman after hitting .200 while dropping two of its last three games. The team had a .327 average while winning four of the previous five.

David Ortiz is hitting .241 over his last 14 games, but has made up for it by hitting six homers with 15 RBIs. He connected for a solo shot Thursday before Mike Carp had one of his own in the next at-bat after replacing an ill Mike Napoli.

Carp is on a tear, going 13 for 28 (.464) with four homers and nine RBIs in eight games, and that may be enough to continue filling in for Napoli at first base.

Ryan Dempster (4-6, 4.40) is expected to get the ball at Camden Yards for the first time in his career, and he's 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA in three road starts.

The right-hander didn't get a decision against the Orioles on April 10, allowing three runs with seven strikeouts in five innings of an 8-5 defeat. He's also held Davis hitless in five at-bats, striking him out three times.

Dempster has won his last two starts, allowing six runs in 13 innings.

Dustin Pedroia has reached base in 22 straight games, and he's 5 for 14 (.357) against Tillman.

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