The Baltimore Orioles suddenly have something to build on, as unexpected as it might be.
The Orioles go into a day-night doubleheader against the host Boston Red Sox on Saturday coming off a riveting late-game comeback Friday night.
The 12-8 victory came by overcoming a six-run deficit after six innings.
The Orioles, winners of just five of their past 14 games, wouldn’t seem like a team beaming with confidence. Yet some of that might be brewing after they scored the final 10 runs on Friday, earning a win after trailing 8-2 entering the seventh inning.
“We could be down 30-0 and we’re still staying positive, still staying in it, trying to compete and come back every time,” Baltimore outfielder Anthony Santander said.
The Orioles have won in their last at-bat three times in a seven-game stretch.
The Friday result was more puzzling for the Red Sox. It was the first time they scored more than five runs and lost this season.
The Orioles needed a little of everything to overcome the Red Sox, who scored 16 runs twice this week against the Chicago White Sox and appeared on that pace again with a 6-0 lead after two innings Friday night.
A three-run home run from Jorge Mateo started Baltimore’s comeback. He entered the night 2-for-29 in his previous eight games.
“He has come up in some big spots and wants to come through so badly,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “The work has been awesome. His preparation is great. The process is good.”
The Red Sox will turn to a veteran and a newcomer for the pitching assignments Saturday. After the bullpen’s performance Friday, they will be counting on quite a bit from the starters.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-2, 4.10 ERA) is slated to start the opener for the Red Sox. He has more wins against the Orioles than any other team, racking up a 7-2 record and 3.43 ERA in 16 career starts. He has 81 strikeouts and 27 walks in 84 innings vs. Baltimore.
Eovaldi threw seven shutout innings at Baltimore in a no-decision on April 30.
Right-hander Josh Winckowski, 23, will make his major league debut in the nightcap.
“I figured this was somewhat of a possibility, but for it to finally happen obviously was pretty surreal,” Winckowski said.
Boston manager Alex Cora sounded confident about how Winckowski, who is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Worchester this year, will approach the opportunity. Cora likes the way the pitcher competes.
“He wants to be great,” the manager said.
Right-hander Jordan Lyles (3-4, 4.10 ERA) will head to the mound for Baltimore in one of the Saturday games, though the team hadn’t announced which one.
Lyles has made five career starts against Boston, going 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA. He gave up one run in six innings while beating the Red Sox on May 1.
Hyde declined to name the other Orioles starter, though he said it could come from among those on the team’s taxi squad. That could mean a role for Denyi Reyes or Cody Sedlock, both right-handers.
The Orioles have won three of four games against Boston this season.
The Red Sox slipped to 10-11 in home games on the year.
–Field Level Media